Benefits of Recycling
The use of waste materials such as plastics, glass and paper for the production of other reusable materials is defined as recycling. This process has found wide use in the contemporary times due to the high probability of waste reduction associated with recycling. The recycled materials may be used for similar or different purposes compared to the original intentions. Because of the difficulty involved in the disposal of non-biodegradable waste materials, and the growth of residential as well as urban properties, countries, and in particular the U.S have upped the efforts to engage in recycling.
The benefits associated with recycling are immense and not limited to environmental preservation efforts but go beyond to include aspects of the economy, pollution and consumer spending behaviors. The key benefit associated with recycling is land preservation. This occurs in that recycling reduces the amount of waste to be disposed which consequently leads to a reduction in the amount of land required for waste disposal. The implication is thus a reduction in land wastage.
Moreover, land pollution is also reduced through reducing the amount of hazardous materials that seep into the ground. In the water bodies, recycling is also beneficial since human wastes can be recycled through effective treatment which prevents the disposal of such wastes into water bodies. Still on pollution control, recycling is also important in the prevention and/ or reduction of air pollution since combustion of waste substances is reduced, which leads to an overall reduction in the percentage of hazardous gases emitted into the air.
Apart from land preservation and pollution control, recycling is also beneficial for environmental conservation as well as for energy production. The aspect of environmental conservation in relation to recycling comes about through the availability of alternative sources of materials. For instance, recycling of paper preserves wood while the use of wastes for the production of biogas results in energy preservation. Moreover, the same waste materials can also be combusted for the production of thermal power supply. Production of ethanol from waste materials and the subsequent use as an energy source also helps in energy preservation through recycling (Miller, 2005).
Recycling benefits the economic sector immensely based on the impacts of recycling on various aspects of the economy. First, the art of recycling has led to the creation of many industries which operate solely on recycled materials. This indicates the presence of diverse economic opportunities to be tapped into through recycling.
Secondly, while industries expand and new ones are opened, industries dealing with materials such as plastics, metals and paper reduce costs associated with mining of raw materials, purchase and transportation resulting in a realization of greater profits compared to companies using only original products. Also in terms of the economy, the government also benefits from recycling through reception of revenues from the companies and industries dealing with recycling materials. The most significant benefit that can be associated with recycling is the reduction in the prices of common recycled goods due to the reduced operational costs of recycling industry.
As a conclusion, the benefits of recycling cannot be taken for granted at any time. This is further explained through the assertion that recycling also creates employment opportunities from a variety of people such as the garbage collectors, the middle men, intermediaries as well as retailers, which makes it possible to increase overall fife value (Miller & Spoolman, 2008).
Miller, G.T. (2005). Environmental Science: Working with the Earth. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning
Miller, G.T & Spoolman, E.S (2007). Living in the Environment: Principles, Connections and Solutions. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
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