When was the last time you threw something away and wondered, "Is there anything different I should be doing with this empty bottle?" Recycling is beneficial because it prevents reusable items from ending up in landfills. Anything we can do to reduce the amount of trash we accumulate, the better we can take care of the environment.
Let's consider what we throw away:
Containers (plastic, cardboard, metal, styrofoam), paper products (napkins, copy paper, newspaper, etc.), food, old furniture, appliances, used liquids (paints, oils, etc.), and more...
Recycling can significantly reduce the amount of garbage we produce. Water bottles can be turned into more water bottles. Soda cans can be turned into more soda cans. Glass jars can be turned into...well, you get the idea.
Larger items, like furniture & appliances, can usually be repaired, refinished, recovered or donated to charity. I don't personally know how to repair an old refrigerator, but someone else might be able to. Left over paint can be used for craft projects, repainting an old bookshelf, or can be donated to Habitat for Humanity, school art teachers, or other similar organization.
While there may be some remaining garbage that is unable to be reused or recycled, we can do our part to reduce the amount of trash we produce. This will result in a reduction of landfills and an increase of recycled material we can use to make new products.