Everyone today has heard of how important it is to recycle and most cities offer a recycling program, but what exactly is recycling and how beneficial is it really to us and the environment? Recycling is the process of turning one products useful part into a new product; this is done to conserve on the consumption of resources, energy and space used in landfills
By recycling one plastic bottle not only saves anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill but also saves the environment from the emissions in producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that bottle. For every one ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month’s time and almost 2000 pounds of oil.
Today the most common products in cities recycling programs are paper products, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum. Approximately 60% of our rubbish thrown away today could be recycled. A survey was done and 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would recycle more if it was easier. There are many people who do not realize that a plastic bottle our water comes in is made out of oil. This is the same oil that is used to make gasoline. It’s the same oil that is in such high demand and is not an unlimited resource.
Environmental problems have become so complex that many individuals feel they can have no effect on them. Problems like global warming, hazardous waste, loss of rain forests, endangered species, acid rain, the ozone layer, and the municipal waste crisis can feel out of our control. At the very least, these problems require group and corporate action or government intervention.
Reducing waste means not only to reduce the volume of waste that goes to the landfills, but it also means decreasing the amount of dangerous chemicals that seep into the soil and pollute the air due to improper waste disposal.
Seven good reasons why we should recycle:
1. Financial Income – There is money in recycling. In the level of the individual, one of the benefits of recycling is financial income. There are a lot of things lying around the house that we no longer want or need that might just end up in a dumpsite somewhere, that we can recycle and earn money from.
2. Recycling helps conserve limited resources – Throwing away a single aluminum can, versus recycling it, is like pouring out six ounces of gasoline.
3. Recycling is energy efficient – On a larger scale, recycling could translate into huge reductions in our energy costs. Consider these facts: It costs more energy to manufacture a brand new aluminum can than it does to recycle 20 aluminum cans. 20 cans can be made from recycled material using the same energy it takes to make one new can.
4) Recycling builds community – In almost all communities in the country today, there is a growing concern for recycling and the environment.
5) Recycling creates jobs – Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job; land filling 10,000 tons of waste creates six jobs; recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs.
6) Recycling builds a strong economy – Done on a nationwide scale, recycling has a huge impact in our economy in terms of jobs, energy cost reduction, resources conservation.
7) Recycling is Earth-friendly – No matter how safe and efficient our landfills are being billed to be, the possibility of dangerous chemicals coming from the solid waste deposited in these landfills, contaminating underground water supply is always present. Combustion or incineration of our solid waste is effective and energy-generating, but we pay the price in increased air pollution.