What is Recycling?
Wikipedia says ‘Recycling’ is the “process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions.”
Picture the waste bin/disposal in your house, recycle is the alternative to this. Instead of disposing things we call ‘trash’ (waste) in our waste bin, we can recycle and turn waste into new materials that we can use.
In the waste hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), recycling is a key component of waste reduction and the third component.
What can be Recycled?
There are quite a few things that we can recycle. Examples of recyclable materials are;
- Aluminium cans.
The reuse of biodegradable waste such as food or garden waste, is also considered recycling. In the process of recycling, materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection centre or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials for manufacturing.
Did you know that?
- 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
- 1 recycled glass bottle will save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
- 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a light bulb for 3 hours.
- 70% less energy is needed to recycle paper as oppose to making it from raw materials
Benefits of Recycling
In case you’re wondering what the outcome of recycling is, here are few benefits of recycling;
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities.
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
- Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
- Saves energy.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
- Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling).
- Recycling reduces the need for raw materials so that the rainforests can be preserved.
So, why should we recycle?
It is important for us to recycle because waste has a huge negative impact on our environment. When we don’t recycle, harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses are released from rubbish in landfill sites. Recycling, if done, will help us reduce the pollution caused by waste.