Recycling is the process of collecting, sorting and processing waste materials to be used in producing other products or materials. With environmental challenges and global warming coming to the forefront of challenges the world is currently facing, recycling is one of the areas to focus on as a possible solution to today’s waste and environmental crisis.
Recycling helps with reducing waste and enhancing the preservation of our planet’s non-renewable resources. As the amount of waste we create is constantly increasing, we must act fast. Recycling is one of the best ways to have a positive impact on the world in which we live.
Benefits of recycling
What are the benefits of recycling?
Here are some interesting recycling facts.
- Aluminium is the most recyclable material
Of all the items in a refuse bin, aluminium products are the most recyclable. Used for many products including cans, mobile phones, televisions etc., aluminium is one of the most recycled material in the world. It takes about 60 days for aluminium cans to be recycled back onto a store shelf making it one of the most efficiently recyclable products. In addition, aluminium products can be recycled as many times as possible into the same product without getting degraded.
- Recycling helps conserve resources
Recycling helps conserve natural resources by converting waste into useful products, thus cutting the need to use up more natural resources to manufacture these products. For example, by recycling a ton of paper, you can save up to 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water or 4000 kilowatts of energy that would go into producing an equal amount of paper from raw materials.
- Recycling helps lower waste accumulation
Recycling products helps reduce the waste that gets accumulated in landfills and waste disposal areas. By sorting and recycling materials, the amount of total waste that is dumped in landfills is dramatically reduced. In UK we are currently sending 49% of our waste to landfill, 25% is recycled, 14% composted and 12% incinerated.
- Recycling helps lower carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
With effective recycling plans, the amount of waste that have to be incinerated at waste disposal facilities is reduced, thus cutting down on the total amount of carbon and greenhouse gases which is emitted into the atmosphere. This helps lower air pollution and prevents the depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer resulting from greenhouse gas emission.
- Recycling help conserves wildlife and biodiversity.
Recycling reduces the need to use raw materials to manufacture new products, thus preventing the increasing exploitation of natural resources like trees, land, water etc. For the same reason, we can say that recycling also plays a role in protecting the animals and plants which make up the population of these places. Recycling helps preserve biodiversity by making sure certain species don’t become at risk of extinction due to the overexploitation of their habitats.
- Recycling creates more jobs
Recycling also helps with job creation, especially in the areas where the recycling facilities are set up. A recycling plant can potentially create 10 times more jobs than a waste management facility. This includes specialised jobs as well as simple manual labour, making the recycling industry a potential employer of mass labour.
The Waste Hierarchy sets out a hierarchy of options for managing waste in terms of what is best for the environment. The different options (in order of preference) are:
Any organisation that imports, produces, collects, transports, disposes of or operate as dealers or brokers of waste is affected and must take into account the hierarchy when choosing a waste management option for their waste. According to the latest legislation, all waste transfer and consignment notes needs to declare that the waste hierarchy has been taken in consideration.
At All Waste Matters we run Waste Minimisation Programs nationwide. We can arrange a site visit from one of our WAMITAB trained staff and help work through your production processes with a view to actually reduce the waste produced. We can count on over 50 years of experience in Waste Disposal to ensure any waste accepted at our recycling facility is done so ethically and professionally.