Recycling is a process of converting waste material into new materials or objects. Recycling prevents the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh materials, thereby reducing energy usage, air pollution from incineration and water pollution from landfills. In simple terms, recycling is a process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as a trash and turning them into new products. It helps the community and the environment. Recycling saves energy as well as it also reduces greenhouse gas emission which helps to tackle climate change.
There are nearly 8 types of recycling as follows:
- Waste paper and cardboard recycling:
3/4th of the cardboard is recycled every year. It is estimated that 90 billion cardboard boxes are discarded each year. Out of those, about 75 billion are recycled. For every ton of paper and cardboard recycled, up to 17 trees can be saved. In addition, this will save 2 cubic yards of landfill capacity and help decrease 4100 kW/hours of electricity. It takes 70% less energy to make new paper from recycled material.
- Plastic recycling:
There are about 50 different groups of plastics, with hundreds of different varieties. Most of plastic are recyclable, they need to be recycled to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and it helps to prevent rubbish from ending up in the oceans. Because most of the plastics are non-degradable, they take a long time to break down, possibly up to hundreds of years. It’s said that plastics can take over 500 years to decompose.
- Metal recycling:
All grades of non-ferrous and ferrous metal are recyclable for future use. Recycling one aluminium drinks can save enough energy to power a television for around three hours. Before the metals are recycled, metals get sorted, where they are separated into ferrous and non-ferrous types. Ferrous metal includes Iron and Steel; non-ferrous includes aluminium, copper, stainless steel, brass and many more.
- WEEE Electronic devices recycling:
Recycling of electronic goods is a specialist part of the waste and recycling industry aiming to prevent electrical items sent to landfill. WEEE recycling is for the waste of electrical and electronic equipment recycling, which is nearly everything that is powered by a battery or plug such as computers, mobile phones and TVs.
- Wood recycling:
Wood is a renewable resource which can be reused as building materials. According to wood recyclers association nearly 5 million tones of wood waste is created in UK but nearly only half of them are recycled.
- Glass recycling:
To decompose glass it takes around one million years which is the main cause for land filling sites. Glass can be recycled completely; once it recycled it will not lose its quality.
- Clothing and textile recycling:
As the fashion changes people throw their clothes. It is not just landfill issue but also increase in the use of raw materials. All types of textile which is suitable for reprocessing can be recycled.
- Bricks and inner waste recycling:
Bricks can be cleaned and reused for other construction projects. Bricks can also be crushed into brick chips and can be used for landscape material. Hardcore rubble can be recycled and used in other building projects.
There are some things which cannot be recycled some of them are as follows: Plastic bags or recyclables inside plastic bags, takeaway coffee cups, disposable nappies, garden waste, polystyrene, bubble wrap, syringes or medical waste, dead animals, oils ,ceramics, ovenware or light bulbs and many more.
Apart from these things recycling is also consider as bad for the following reasons: Fossil fuels are used in the production of paper recycling while the energy source for creating a virgin paper is often waste products from timber. Processing recycled paper produces a solid waste sludge which ends up in a landfill or incinerator, where its burning can emit harmful byproducts. Another disadvantage is it is often unsafe and unhygienic. Recyclable items consists of solid wastes and other kind of debris may cause widespread pollution, such kind of waste is usually mixed with water and can lead to leach ate formation and result in toxification.
In conclusion, Recycling is important to prevent pollution, reduces the need to harvesting new raw materials, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves money, reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and allows products to be used to their fullest extent. Recycling reduces the need for extracting from mining, quarrying, logging and refining and processing raw materials which create substantial air and water pollution.