What is Recycling and what are the benefits?
What is recycling? Recycling is a process in which waste, also known as used materials, is turned into new products in order to prevent an excess of waste and to make the most of materials. Recycling is an extremely important process in order to preserve new and fresh materials, save on energy usage, to reduce pollution in the air by burning and water by land filling when disposing waste, as well as to lower the amount of emissions from greenhouse gases. In today’s society, recycling is a huge factor in how we reduce and manage our waste.
Due to modern discoveries, there are many more different types of materials that can be recycled such as glass, paper, metal, textiles, electronics, and plastic. Waste that is considered biodegradable like food and garden waste is not typically considered recycling as those types of waste can be composted or reused. Materials that are meant to be recycled by the public are usually picked up by a collector at the resident’s curb. Those materials are then sorted, cleaned, and then finally reprocessed. If there is no curbside pick up available, there are collection centers available throughout the United States.
There are many benefits to recycling. Benefits include helping to sustain the environment much longer for future generations to enjoy the earth, conserving natural resources like water, wood, and various minerals, saving energy, and decreasing the emission of harmful greenhouse gases into the environment which influence the climate change around the globe.
There are three main steps to the recycling process. The first step is the collecting and processing stage. Depending on what kind of area one lives in, regardless of it being rural or urban, there are four main ways to collecting materials for recycling: picking up at the curbside, dropping materials off at drop-off centers, sending materials to buy-back centers, and participating in deposit/refund programs. After the materials are collected, they are all sent to a processing center for them to be sorted and prepared to be turned into a product that can be used again in the marketplace. The second step in the recycling process is the manufacturing phase. Many household items common to most American families like newspapers, toilet paper, plastic bottles, aluminum foil, canned drinks, and various other products are made of recycled materials. With today’s technology, even public places have recycled materials in them such as park benches and bridges. The third step in recycling consists of purchasing the recycled materials that have been turned into commercial products. This completes the recycling cycle. Consumers, business or individual, play a huge role in the success of the recycling process. As more and more consumers demand environmentally friendly products, more manufacturers will feel the pressure to meet that demand and produce higher quality products from recycled materials.
Recycling is a huge component in ensuring that our future generations will be able to have access to all the necessary raw resources that is needed for living. Each family must do their part in recycling in order for this to happen. If we do not start to become more knowledgeable in recycling, our growing population will burn through valuable resources faster than we and the earth can produce them.