11:32 am - Monday May 28, 2012


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Recycling involves processing used materials into new products in order to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from land filling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste management and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” waste hierarchy.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. Although similar in effect, the composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste – such as food or garden waste – is not typically considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing.

Process of Recycling

Recycling is the process of collecting certain materials that would otherwise be considered waste — like old metal, paper, wood, or plastic for example — and turning them into new “recycled” products.

The first step required for recycling is collecting recyclable materials from communities. Today many major cities and larger communities offer a curbside pick up service for recyclable materials. Families who recycle items such as paper, bottles and cans, place the items in recycling collection bins. These bins usually have the recycling symbol on them. This is one of the most important steps for recycling because if people do not separate their recyclable materials from their trash then the materials will not be recycled. Instead they will be sent to the landfill with other trash. Apart from the items you may recycle at home, many other things such as old tires, computers, mattresses, cars and more are recycled for parts and materials.

The second step involves processing the recyclable materials. This includes sorting the materials into groups, cleaning them and getting them ready to be sold to manufacturers who will turn the materials into new products. Manufacturing is the third step in the recycling process. Today many products are made out of either total or partial post consumer (recycled) materials. Many items you may see every day are made from recycled materials. Newspapers, paper towels, office paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans are not only made of recycled materials, but they can also be recycled again.

The last step, but certainly not the least, involves the purchasing of recycled products. When consumers purchase products that have been made with post consumer material the recycling process has been completed and can then be repeated. If you have the choice to purchase a product made from recycled materials, instead of one that was not, what do you think you should do? It takes education and awareness to remember to recycle and purchase recycled products. The best way to avoid wasting valuable resources is to reduce consumption in the first place. For items that are used and can’t be re-used, recycling offers many benefits.

Facts of Recycling

  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.

  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.

  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.

  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.

  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.

  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.

  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.

Benefits of Recycling

Most people know that recycling plays an important role in managing the garbage generated in homes and businesses, and that it reduces the reliance on landfills and incinerators.  But recycling is far more than a local material management strategy; it is also an important strategy for reducing the environmental impacts of industrial production.  Supplying industry with recycled materials rather than virgin resources extracted from forests and mines is environmentally preferable because it saves energy, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, and other dangerous air and water pollutants, and because it conserves scarce natural resources.

By reducing the amount of energy used by industry, recycling also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps stem the dangers of global climate change.  This reduction occurs because much of the energy used in industrial processes and in transportation involves burning fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel and coal - the most important sources of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.

Energy savings may be the most important environmental benefit of recycling, because using energy requires the consumption of scarce fossil fuels and involves emissions of numerous air and water pollutants.  The steps in supplying materials to industry (including collection, processing and transportation) typically use less energy than the steps in supplying virgin materials to industry (including extraction, refinement, transportation and processing).  But most energy savings associated with recycling accrue at least once.?

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