Unless you have been on another planet for the last century, then you have probably heard of recycling. If you love this earth, you probably know that recycling is a great practice and there are many reasons why you should recycle materials.
Many years back, nobody paid much attention to the accumulation of waste in homes and landfills.
It became so vast that the authorities started getting concerned that the phenomenon could create a disaster. A solution had to be found, but one that is kind to humans and the environment. That’s how recycling came into existence.
Recycling is the process of breaking down and reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” waste hierarchy. “
Many communities and businesses make it easy to recycle by placing labeled containers in the open for public use or providing bins for home and business owners who have curbside pickup.
Several reasons exist as to why we should promote and practice recycling. Recycling helps us to convert our old products into new useful products.
Therefore, in this article is a comprehensive detail on reasons why we should recycle.
Table of Contents
What is Recycling?
Recycling is the process of collecting, processing and converting waste materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new/useful products and materials.
Recycling can benefit our communities, the economy and the environment. Recycling helps to reduce the quantity of harmful materials produced alongside reducing energy usage.
Not all materials can be recycled, but there are many materials that can and should be recycled. Recyclable materials include: Paper, Plastic bottles, cardboard, food and drink cans, trays, tabs, food and beverages cartons, aluminum foils, Batteries, Glass, Clothes, Electronics, Wood and Metal
Recycling, though not relatively a new concept but, has been in place for years, it’s efforts needs to be increased, considering the amount of waste disposed of every day.
Hence, the need to emphasize more on the benefits and reasons why recycling is needed and it’s approach should be daily increased too.
Reasons Why You Should Recycle
There are many reasons why recycling is essential. Here are reasons why we should benefits of recycle.
- Conservation of Energy.
- Reducing Demand for Raw Materials.
- Ecosystems and Wildlife Protection
- Reduces Unemployment.
- Conservation of Natural Resources.
- Reduces Landfill Accumulation.
- Helps Save Money.
- Reduces Waste from the Environment
- Guarantees a Truly Sustainable Future.
1. Conservation of Energy
It takes less energy to make product from recyclable materials than it takes to manufacture new product from raw materials.
This serves as an effective way to save and conserve energy and also keeps production cost low. For example, producing new aluminium from old products (including recycled cans and foil) uses 95% less energy than making it from scratch.
For steel it’s about a 70% energy saving, recycling one glass bottle saves enough power to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, Making paper from pulped recycled paper uses 40% less energy than making it from virgin wood fibres.
It is important to note that, energy conservation is an essential element in the fight against climate change.
2. Reducing Demand for Raw Materials
The world’s increasing demand for new stuff has led to more of the poorest and most vulnerable people (for example, those living around forests or river systems) being displaced from their homes, or otherwise exploited.
When we recycle, it reduces our need to harvest raw materials. Forest communities can find themselves evicted as a result of the search for cheap timber and rivers can be damned or polluted by manufacturing waste.
It is better to recycle existing products than to damage someone else’s community or land in the search for new raw materials. This implies that when we recycle, the possibility of damaging someone else’s land or community is reduced.
3. Ecosystems and Wildlife Protection
When we recycle we reduce the disruption rate of the natural world. Damages done to the natural world as a result of harvesting, exploitation and extraction of new raw materials are minimally reduced through recycling.
For example, Trees are not only cleared to dig for mines but also for the accessibility of the mines by building roads.
This leads to severe Habitat loss and destruction, plastic waste if not safely put in the recycling, it can be blown or washed into rivers and seas and end up hundreds or thousands of miles away, polluting coastlines and waterways and becoming a problem for everyone.
By recycling we can help preserve environment and wildlife.
4. Prevents Climate Change and Global Warming
Because recycling makes use of less energy on sourcing and processing new raw materials, it helps to reduce carbon footprint and carbon emissions which is referred to as greenhouse gases. It also keeps potentially methane-releasing waste which contributes to climate change out of landfill sites.
Also when the waste is buried, burned or drowned, instead of recycled, it releases a large number of harmful chemicals. Burning releases the highest amount of carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas and the leading cause of global warming.
Whatever be your opinion on global warming, a lot of people converge to the idea that everyone needs to play a role in minimizing the effects of pollution and emissions.
Reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere is vital for stopping global warming and climate change.
Research studies suggest that a single tree can get rid of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. Recycling is needed to save more trees to ensure a well-balanced level of carbon dioxide
5. Reduces Unemployment
Recycling occurs in industries and creates new jobs every year. Statistically, recycling creates 10 times more employment opportunities than landfill waste management.
For instance, recycling in the United States is a $236 billion a year industry and not less than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.
Jobs in recycling include sorters, drivers, mechanics, technicians, and more. If we replace landfills with recycling plants, we can create more job opportunities for everyone. This will also impact the economy in a good way.
6. Conservation of Natural Resources
The world’s natural resources can finish, and some are in very short supply. If a lot of pressure is put on these natural resources, they might be depleted fast. The only way to dramatically stop the pressure applied to these resources is by promoting recycling.
Basically, when we recycle paper and wood saves trees and forests, recycling plastic means creating less new plastic, which is definitely a good thing, especially as it’s usually made from fossil fuel hydrocarbons, recycling metals means there’s less need for risky, expensive and damaging mining and extraction of new metal ores, Recycling glass reduces the need to use new raw materials like sand
If the pressure is increased to cultivate these resources by recycling, then and only then can we save these finite resources, thereby protecting the natural materials and environment for the future.
7. Reduces Landfill Accumulation
The rate of waste disposal in the modern day is increasing at an alarming rate. This rapid increase translates to accumulation, subsequent overflowing of landfills and more landfills in the environment.
Recycling reduces the need for more landfills and overflowing of landfills. The size of existing landfills can be significantly reduced if we reduce our daily waste and recycle more.
If every piece of trash that is taken out of the garbage and put into the recycling reduces the requirements of new landfills and also expanding the ones already in operation
8. Helps Save Money
Recycling waste is cost effective than regular waste collection and disposal. The more we recycle, the more money we can save. Developing the habit of buying only what you need and reusing products rather than purchasing a new one saves a lot on your budget.
In some parts of the world like most states in America, it is costly to dispose of waste than to recycle. This made some recycling companies to buy wastes from neighborhoods for their recycling activities.
Thereby bringing the seller extra income for another budget. Money can be made from selling compost, metal scraps and plastics you no longer use at home.
9. Reduces Waste from the Environment
Waste accumulation is a global problem. By estimation, at least 50% of the materials thrown into the garbage by a person could be recycled. When we really try, everything from batteries, to food waste, to clothing, electronics, glass, metal, paper, and plastic can be recycled.
More waste in the environment causes irreversible damage to the environment and plays a part in global warming. Hence the need for recycling of used materials.
10. Guarantees a Truly Sustainable Future
Many technology companies have innovated in the field of eco-friendly products since the rise of recycling. These eco-friendly products not only consume less energy but are also easy to recycle.
If more recycled products arrive in the market and become popular then the need for other products would decrease and the economy would be improved.
By recycling, we are doing two great things to our future: minimizing our immediate effect on planet earth and developing sustainable practices for future generations.
Recycling is critical to ensure the health of our planet. When you organize recycling, you are helping to reduce the amount of waste produced every day.
We need to drastically improve our recycling habits at home, in schools and at workplaces.
The truth is we all need to get into the habit of using less stuff in the first place. And the things we do use ought to be reused as much as possible before being recycled, to minimise waste.
This would significantly aid the response to the global waste management challenge.
What type of Materials can be Recycled?
Materials that can be recycled includes papers and glass, plastic products, metal containers such as tin, steel and aluminum.
How does recycling help the environment?
Recycling helps the environment in several ways the reduction in climate change, protection of the natural environment and resources, reduces different forms of environmental pollution and many more as written in the article.
Why should recycling be made Mandatory?
One major reason why recycling should be made mandatory is because the enormous benefits it provides to the environment.
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Ahamefula Ascension is a Real Estate Consultant, Data Analyst, and Content writer. He is the founder of Hope Ablaze Foundation and a Graduate of Environmental Management in one of the prestigious colleges in the country. He is obsessed with Reading, Research and Writing.