The rapid reduction in natural resources has put our future generations at risk. They will not have enough resources to cater to their basic needs. One way to curb this rapid decline and conserve natural resources is to recycle the waste you generate.
Due to the growing population and demands on resources, managing waste is a top priority now. Having a proper recycling program is a sure step forward for this problem. Using a separate recycling bin for sorting recyclable items is an ideal way to manage waste. Recycling is a smart approach to reduce the trash you send to landfills. It is also beneficial to the environment. Read on to know how using recycle bins can benefit the environment.
How Does Recycling Help The Environment?
The alarming rate at which landfills are filling up has become a global issue. It is hazardous for the environment and contributes to climate change. Thus, proper use of recycling helps in a big way. It facilitates converting waste into a valuable resource. It involves many steps like:
- Collecting old used items
- Decontaminating the items
- Changing them into new items
With more people taking up the practice, it will be easier to manage the waste and enhance the environment. How can you benefit the environment by recycling? Here are a few important ways:
1. You Conserve Natural Resources
By recycling, you convert the waste materials into new products. The conversion reduces the need to use natural resources. If you do not recycle, new raw materials from mining or forestry go into the making of new products. So, you can save the resources and protect the natural habitat for the future.
- Recycling plastic reduces the need for fresh plastic manufacturing.
- Recycling paper reduces deforestation and saves energy and resources.
- Recycling metal items cut down the mining done to get the raw materials.
2. You Save Energy
When recycled materials are part of the manufacturing setup, the energy costs go down. There is a need for less energy when compared to making the goods from scratch. Even with the inclusion of all related costs, such as transport and others, you can save more.
The energy you save is more here. This is because you need more energy for making products from raw materials like:
- Processing the raw materials
Recycled items do not need factories to spend as much energy. For instance, aluminum recycling can save up to 95% of the energy used for making aluminum from its ore. When there is a reduction in the use of new materials, you save your ecosystem and wildlife from harm.
3. Cut Down Landfill Waste
Disposal areas are a major problem for the environment. They cause soil, water, and air pollution. Climate change is another big peril of dumping grounds. The liquids from the junkyard enter groundwater and seep into the soil. This causes water and soil pollution, affecting animal life, local ecosystems, and drinking water.
Many toxic substances in landfills emit contaminated air, like methane and greenhouse gases. This leads to air pollution, which causes several health hazards. With recycling, you can reduce the waste sent to the dumps.
4. Save The Marine Ecosystem
A large amount of plastic you use ends up clogging the oceans. This harms the marine ecosystem in an adverse way. It is very difficult to clean up the oceans. Moreover, the accumulation of such synthetic materials began only a few decades back.
An ideal solution to reduce the burden on the oceans is to manage such types of waste. This is possible by reducing the use of plastic, repurposing, and recycling it. The 3Rs assist in curbing the damage wrought by such waste.
5. Lower Production Of Methane Gas
The waste in landfills generates methane gas. Landfills are one of the main sources of methane emission. This is a cause of concern as the gas is very dangerous. It also causes climate change.
You can reduce the negative impact of methane gas. This is possible when you reduce the landfill input by one pound per day per individual.
The Vital Role Of The Recycling Bin
It is not possible to stop producing waste in your workspace or home. But, you can reduce the waste you throw in your plastic garbage cans and use a recycle bin as well.
When you use a separate recycling bin in your home or office, you can help in waste reduction. Your support in reprocessing a major part of the waste can reduce the amount that ends up in the landfill.
Besides reducing waste, you can save energy and resources. You will also see a dip in the waste collection bills. Many recycling programs offer money for collecting recyclable items.
With the small act of recycling, you can do a huge favor for our planet. Use separate containers for sorting your trash. You can rest assured that you are doing your part in bringing about a positive impact.
How You Can Benefit As A Consumer
You can buy goods that do not take as much energy or money to make. This is possible due to the reprocessing of materials.
Raw materials remain undisturbed with recycling. Most of the processes you need for creating the items from scratch are not needed. So, besides aiding the environment, you can also gain from the lower cost.
To recycle, you need to first do a proper collection of the materials. You first sort the discarded trash into different waste streams to reprocess the items. You can then turn the waste into valuable products.
Some common recycle container types found in homes and offices are:
- Paper and Cardboard
- Food waste
Some councils and recycling centers have bins for specific items. These include electronic waste, motor oil, tires, and more. For proper recycling, it is important that you place the items in the right recycling bin. Contamination of the items can consume plenty of time and energy for sorting the items again. Knowing which items go into the recycling container will aid you.
Here are a few ways you can use your recycle bin in the right way and benefit the environment.
1. Plastic Recycling
Because plastic is cheap and durable, it finds plenty of uses. But, the bad news about using plastic is it takes over a thousand years to break down. Thus, most of the plastic you use ends in the ocean or the landfills.
With proper recycling, you can prevent plastic trash from harming your surroundings and reduce the amount of new plastic. You must know that all plastics are not recyclable. Plastics are of different types and each type needs different processes for recycling.
The RIC (Resin Identification Coding) system sorts plastics into 7 types. Each type is of a different plastic ingredient. You can see an image with the number inside the recycling symbol in the plastic items you buy. The number #1, for instance, indicates Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET).
Recycling centers accept only items with specific numbers. #1 and #2 types are recyclable. Your local recycling center can assist you with which plastic types they accept. Recycling plastic bottles facilitates making items like clothing, auto parts, and carpet. Not only do you reduce the amount of trash, but you also help in making new products.
2. Paper recycling
Paper products make up a big part of your daily trash. Items like newspapers, envelopes, magazines, and more end up in the trash every day. When you recycle paper, you get the following benefits:
- You will dump less paper in the trash and only a small amount will end up in the landfill.
- You can prevent the destruction of natural resources, like trees, for making new paper.
- There is less pollution due to minimal processes present for making recycled paper.
- There will be less need of cutting down trees with the use of recycled paper.
Depending on the locality you are in, you can sort all paper trash in your indoor trash bin. Or, you can sort them as simple paper waste and paper with plastic coating. The recycling of the latter items needs special chemicals. So, you may have to sort such items in a separate bin.
3. Glass Recycling
Glass products are easy to recycle. Designers and manufacturers can use the recycled material without harming the environment. It is possible to repurpose the chips to make countertops or floors.
When you do not recycle glass, it takes about one million years to break down. Furthermore, making glass from scratch needs plenty of sand. Since sand depletion is a big cause of concern, recycling is the best alternative.
You can sort the glass in recycling bins, according to its color. Or, the recycling centers can sort them. They melt the glass chips and turn them into new jars and bottles.
4. Metal Recycling
Many companies specialize in metal recycling. Different metal types like aluminum, brass, copper, etc. come under this category.
By recycling metal cans, you can create a positive change in your surroundings. The products undergo proper recycling and will not pose any risk to the environment.
As you need to mine the raw materials for the metals, there is plenty of damage to the areas near to the mines. By recycling metals, you save the new mining of the ores, which aid in making the metals.
As you can find different types of metal products, you may not know which is recyclable. You can put all metal items in a single recycling container. Keep a separate kitchen trash can for the metal items. The recycling center can sort the items into suitable types.
5. Recycling Food Waste
All types of organic waste, including food, are biodegradable. One good way to recycle food waste is by composting it. Making compost from organic waste is a simple process.
You can use a compost bin to put all the kitchen waste, such as vegetable peels, eggshells, and more, in it. Use separate kitchen garbage bins for the composting. With time, the food becomes rich in nutrients. The compost is an ideal fertilizer for planting.
Many localities have brown bins for collecting organic waste. If you create more compost than you need, you can dispose of the organic waste in such bins.
6. E-waste Recycling
It is not possible to break down electronic waste. The trash ends up taking a big chunk of landfill space. There is difficulty in recycling the items as they are made of different materials. A single device can have materials like glass, metal, and more.
But, it is possible to reuse most of the components in electronic devices. For instance, mobile phone recycling can give metals such as gold, silver, copper, and more.
Many large retailers have recycling containers for such items. You can place your e-waste in such bins.
7. Recycling Tires
Worn-out tires have about 99% rubber left in them. Thus, the tires you discard take up a huge part of landfills. Moreover, the tires contain more void space in them.
As recycling tires is a difficult process, people burn them. But, newer and biodegradable materials are going into the making of such tires. So, it is possible to reuse them.
Do not place your old tires in the general trash. Find out a nearby recycling facility that recycles tires in particular. Some centers retread the tires and reuse them. Or, they dispose of the tires in a safe way so they do not harm the surroundings.
Many of the clothing, sheets, curtains, linens, and more make up a huge part of the trash you throw out. If the items end in landfills, they can take hundreds of years to degrade.
But, you can avoid the items from harming the environment by recycling them. The recycling facilities sort and clean the materials. They are then respun into new clothing.
Check out the retailer or mall in your locality. You can know whether they recycle clothing and other textiles. They have separate bins for unwanted garments and other materials. Some even give a discount when you give your old clothes for recycling.
As you can see, many of the items you throw away are of value. Sorting the items for recycling saves the environment and reduces your carbon footprint. Plus, you can play your part in fighting climate change. The best part of recycling is you get to cut down the amount of trash you ship to landfills. Use recycling bins with more than one stream for proper sorting of your trash.