Recycling is the process of reusing materials. It could also be termed as the act of processing used materials that ought to be disposed as waste into new products. The process mainly aims at conserving resources through prevention of wastage of materials that could be used in other ways, reduction of utilization of new raw materials and reduction of energy usage and pollution (air, water and land).
Recycling has become a very essential process in today’s world especially due to the deterioration of the environment brought about by aspects like pollution and global warming. This piece of work looks at the different aspects associated with the process of recycling with much emphasis being given to the history of recycling and the facts associated with recycling process.
Background information about recycling
California Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Waste Management Board (2) asserts that recycling has been practices for quite a long period of time (as long as nature and human beings have existed). Recycling can be traced back to many years ago for example where there was some recycling of dinosaurs to produce oil and gas in California.
This was made possible through formation of sedimentary rocks from the remains that would turn into oil and gas through subjection to heat and pressure. The change of lifestyle for instance from nomadic life to a more settled lifestyle also led to accumulation of wastes that necessitated some means of managing the waste hence improvising of way of disposal which entailed some aspects of recycling.
The coming up of organizations for instance churches and governmental bodies that had a vision of having a healthy nation also led to adoption of recycling oriented activities aimed at making the earth a better place to live in. Traditionally, recycling was mainly undertaken to avoid wasting resources and avoid diseases. The concept of conserving the environment and natural resources was not a key consideration.
This could be as a result of the availability of adequate natural resources with a relatively less densely populated world. The reasons behind recycling have however changed day by day as people’s needs keep on changing with the major reason being the conservation of the scarce resources that the rising population keeps at risk. Other reasons include creation of jobs and improvement of the economy.
Some of the notable recycling strategies involve the use of waste paper to make new paper in Japan in 1031 BC, production of paper from materials different from the traditional cotton and linen in England in 1801 BC, and establishment of a material recovery facility in the city of New York in the year 1897 among others.
Today, there are many programs and strategies that have been put in place for the purpose of recycling waste products with an aim of conserving the environment and saving on the scarce natural resources. This is a way of achieving environmental sustainability for the sake of the current society as well as the future generations.
Facts about Recycling
According to Grabianowski (par 2), recycling is not a complex concept and entails taking something which is considered to be non-valuable and turning it into a completely new product rather than throwing it away as a waste product. It could range from simple acts of finding how an old item could be utilized in a different way, to complex procedures that entail collection of various items, assigning them to form fresh raw materials and making new products for consumer consumption.
Although the recycled products are of a lower quality than original ones, they are still appropriate for use and recycling cannot be taken for granted due to the benefits associated with it especially in regard to environment conservation for the sake of the current as well as the future generation.
Recycling is a very significant process in today’s world. This is due to the fact that there is increased use of the scarce natural resources leading to their depletion and lack of strategies like recycling would mean insufficiency of basic products. The production of a wide range of waste by the rising population would also mean that there is need for a lot of space for disposal.
Other factors that necessitate the undertaking of recycling processes include the need to protect the environment from any form of harm especially through human activity and conservation of the natural resources in an effort to avoid their depletion which would make living unbearable (all-recycling-facts. com par 6).
There are various benefits accrued to the recycling process. Individuals and families have been able to not only earn but also save money by avoiding unnecessary costs Anonymous (par 4).
Programs like pay-as-you-throw also facilitate saving. Recycling programs are also relatively cheap as compared to the costs that could be incurred in managing wastes for instance in collecting and disposing them. Job creation is also a positive contribution of recycling processes where different individuals are able to secure job opportunities in various recycling industries for example those involved with waste management and effective disposal.
Recycling is also associated with building of a strong economy through the combination of aspects like cost reduction, creation of jobs, allowing for efficient utilization of energy among others. In regard to the environment, recycling has proved to be a very positive attribute towards conservation.
Recycling of paper for example saves trees that could otherwise be cut for production of new paper. There is also lots of energy saved through recycling. Air and water are also kept safe through reduction of pollution as recycling reduce emissions including green gas emissions.
Natural resources such as minerals are also conserved and the need for mining reduced hence avoiding aspects of loss of biodiversity and soil erosion. Recycling also builds community through bringing people together through common causes and objectives where they participate in recycling movements that enhance their general relationships.
Recycling is a concept that has been accrued with lot of benefits and has therefore received a lot of support from various agencies and governments. This has made its future very bright with much achievements expected to be met through the various recycling programs that have been set up in various organizations and institutions as well as homesteads (Arms para. 9).
It is evident that recycling is a very crucial aspect especially when it comes to conservation of the environment. It allows for living in a greener environment which is achieved through conservation of natural resources, reduction of wastes as well as pollution and its effects.
The environment is a very essential element and should always be protected and conserved under all circumstances irrespective of the costs involved. Various strategies should be put in place for instance educational campaigns aimed at encouraging environmental friendly operations and engagement in activities that are geared towards conserving the environment.
All-recycling-facts. “Com. Eco Green Living & All Recycling Facts – Every Bit Count”. 2009. May17, 2011. < http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/index.html>
Anonymous. “Recycling Benefits: The Many Reasons Why”. A Recycling Revolution.2005. May17, 2011. < http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-benefits.htm>
Arms, Michael. “Top 7 Benefits of Recycling”. Ezine Articles.2009. May 17, 2011. http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-7-Benefits-of-Recycling&id=3200097
California Environmental protection agency integrated waste management board. History of Recycling, n.d. May17, 2011.
Grabianowski, Ed. “How Recycling Works”. Howstuffworks, 1998. May17, 2011