is the process of turning used substances into usable materials and it is a key
component of initiatives to reduce waste and divert trash from landfills, which
brings many advantages and benefits to different areas. To help the
environment, one thing that we can do is to recycle bottles, paper, glass,
plastic, and much more which will make the environment clean, green and healthy.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Recycling is the process
of re-using a given product (beyond its intended use), or producing a new
product from a recyclable material turns that would otherwise
become waste into valuable resources.” (EPA).
Recycling has become very important now days and for our future lives because
it saves energy, reduces landfill, protects wildlife, and is also good for the
economy. So, every one of us should understand its importance and make efforts
to make this program successful for the betterment of environment.
Due to the massive production of
waste, we are facing a large problem with trash build up on our Earth, which
impairs public health, pollutes the environment and threatens to drown some
poor countries in toxicity. Anything that is not recycled could go into
landfills or be dumped into the ocean which pollute water and leak methane gas
into the atmosphere. Similarly, if we do not recycle paper, more trees will be
cut down, reducing the world’s oxygen, increasing the carbon dioxide and causes
deforestation. If we do not recycle aluminum cans, lots of the world’s energy
will be used to make aluminum from scratch. Likewise, for glass, this is easier
to re-use than manufacture. We are also going to run out of space to hide all
our trash, if we do not recycle the things that can be recycled. Problems that
occur from not recycling are trash bags are dumped into the water, which are
mistaken by sea turtles for jellyfish, and end up killing them. Another problem
is Global warming which affects the earth’s climate system by releasing carbon
dioxide into the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere using energy generated from
burning fossil fuels.
According to the World Bank report, The
United States, China, Brazil, Japan and Germany are the leading trash
generators. The U.S. produced about 228 million tons of waste in 2006, a figure
that climbed to 254 tons by 2013. China (with a population around four times
larger than that of the U.S.) is close behind, with 190 million tons of waste
per year. “The more urbanized and industrialized a country becomes, the more
trash it produces,” said Ijjasz-Vasquez, a senior director for the World Bank’s
Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice as cited in (Simmons).
The United Nations Environment Program predicts the amount of waste will
probably double in lower-income African and Asian cities because of population
growth, urbanization and rising consumption (EPA).
Reasons for Recycling:
Recycling is important in today’s
world if we want to leave this planet for our future generations. It is good
for the environment, since we are making new products from the old products,
which are of no use to us. There are many reasons why we should make an effort
to recycle and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has enumerated some
benefits associated with recycling.
Recycling saves resources
we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need
to consume natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products
are made by extracting fresh, raw materials from the earth, through mining and
forestry. Recycling helps conserve
important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future.
Recycling saves energy
recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy
than that required for producing new products from raw materials – even when
comparing all associated costs including transport etc. There are also extra
energy savings because more energy is required to extract, refine, transport
and process raw materials ready for industry, compared with providing
Recycling helps protect the
reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and
processing raw materials. All of these create substantial air and water pollution.
Discharge of raw sewage into environments also worsens the situation by
contaminating it. In order to ensure that our environment is protected, we
should embrace the concept of personal responsibility by ensuring re-use and
reduce all non-biodegradable materials. As recycling saves energy,
it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.
Recycling reduces incineration
we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a
result, the amount of rubbish sent for incineration reduces. Burning rubbish creates ash, which is
difficult to dispose of, and gases, which are released into the atmosphere.
is something that everyone can easily do, and it really does make a big difference.
Practicing the concept of recycling will benefit us in our everyday life.
Waste Reduction: Stop Throwing Things
simple and obvious choice is to cut back on the amount of waste by using and
throwing out less in the first place. Some states have adopted regulatory
strategies to discourage dependence on landfills. In 1990, for example,
California enacted a law that established a baseline for the amount of solid
waste its cities and towns send to landfills. By 1995, that amount was to be
reduced by 25 percent; by the year 2000, by 50 percent. California now diverts
more than 25 percent of its waste, resulting in disposal of approximately 33
million tons per year. Such heavy cuts are usually accomplished by recycling (Knudson) .
Effective waste disposal and
effective strategy for municipal waste disposal and management can offer
improved solutions for the various problems associated with waste materials. It
ensures there is gradual improvement of new and cost-effective facilities which
aim to encourage higher environmental protection standards. An effective
management strategy will also see to it that landfills are purposefully located
to ease waste collection, transfer, and monitoring or recycling.
Waste Diversion Plans
address most of the waste problems, especially landfills and sewer material,
the local authorities and state waste management facilities need to formulate
waste diversion plans, with an objective of making certain that there is
convenient and proper waste disposal at landfills and waste transfer
facilities. Measures such as mandating equipment standards and rerouting of
refuse collection/transfer can enhance the environmental performance of waste
disposal operations (Gorrie).
Recycle, Re-use, and reduce
increased demand of manufactured products is what increases the final waste
products that end up in the landfill. In this view, the use of recycling
systems for electronic wastes, plastics, paper, metal, glass and other
non-biodegradable materials can provide an effective means of reducing the
landfill effects. Reducing our demand for manufactured products and embracing
re-use can equally favor reduction to both the toxicity and volume of waste
that end up in the landfill as waste (Flavell-While)
Whenever we go shopping, we should buy
products that have the least amount of packaging.
We need to reduce the use of plastic.
While shopping, carry cloth bags. Reuse plastic bags you have at home (Sarah).
Use both sides of a piece of paper. Do not
use fresh sheets for things that are not need: The average American uses 650
pounds of paper each year – 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year
if all that paper was recycled (Arlene).
Use rechargeable batteries because they
have a longer life. Once used completely, do not dispose them off with your
daily garbage; give them away to be recycled (Arlene).
High upfront capital costs:
is not always cost-effective. Building up a new waste recycling unit takes up a
lot of capital. The accompanying costs include buying different kinds of
utility vehicles, upgrading the recycling unit, waste, and chemical disposal
and schooling the locals by initiating useful programs and seminars.
Recycling sites are always
unhygienic, unsafe and unsightly:
harmful chemicals from these wastes can be dangerous. On top of causing massive
pollution, the whole recycling process poses health risks for dedicated
individuals responsible for recycling these waste products. Also, if such waste
products come into contact with water, results in the formation of leachate
that ends up polluting water bodies, not to mention drinking water.
Recycling is a messy process:
to Mary Bauer, a senior executive currently working as a management consultant
and communications expert, recycling paper saves energy, reduces pollution,
preserves trees and conserves landfill space, but it is a messy process that
uses caustic chemicals and produces harmful byproducts and emissions. Recycled
paper is less energy-friendly than plastic. The paper bag recycling process
uses 98 percent more energy than that for recycled plastic bags (Mary).
After knowing these disadvantages of
recycling, an individual can wisely take significant steps involved in
recycling process. Knowing the effects of recycling is vital to a larger degree
that if carried out effectively, can bring immeasurable benefits to the
environment and humans. It is observed that benefits of recycling outweigh the
risks related with the mismanagement of dump sites. The government is also
implementing effective waste management. So, everyone who wants to preserve and
protect our planet must take the initiative to recycle waste material. Taking
everyday trash to nearest recycling center can definitely make a positive
impact on the environment.
Therefore, we can conclude that
recycling is still largely the right choice, if we want to do what’s best for
the world environmentally and economically. Recycling paper and metal, throwing
out mixed materials, and reusing anything we can help to protect the
environment. Similarly, while reducing piles of garbage, we’re also protecting
natural resources, saving energy and cutting global warming pollution. Shopping
smart, cutting out disposable plastics on our routine and choosing reusable
items are some ways we can do to help the environment. We must act fast now as
the amount of waste we create is increasing every time.