As I understood it, recycling metals has always worked pretty well and doesn't need much energy and causes very little pollution. Glass isn't too far behind. Those two are worthwhile. Recycling paper and plastics is filthy and wastes a LOT of energy, causes more pollution than it saves and uses a lot of chemicals that then need to be processed and create more pollution to replace and clean up.
@Dan_Ramos I remember as a kid we’d load the car with cans and other metals and go to some place in Springfield where you’d drive into a scale, then empty the car and they’d weigh it again. Don’t remember how much we got but did it more than once.