Ever since its processes became streamlined, recycling has become more important and visible to the daily lives of humans. With recycling, people give their municipal government or a private recycling entity various waste products that can be reused and sold to manufacturers. This process has many benefits, especially as the economy has conformed to and incentivized the process of recycling. Here is how committed recycling can change society.
Before recycling, waste products in garbage were just given to municipal or private waste management organizations. This waste would be laid in a controlled, designated environment, most often a landfill. As waste piles on in every landfill in the world, pollution from these landfills ends up going into the broader environment. Even when the waste is incinerated at these landfills to make for more room, carbon pollution ends up going into the atmosphere. For example, the San Francisco Gate reported that 29 million of tons of waste were burned across the United States in 2010. By recycling key products, like glass and plastics, human beings are able to reduce the amount of waste that enters landfills or are burned and released into our atmosphere each year.
It takes chemicals to make paper, glass, and metals. For example, timber is needed for paper, while sand and other minerals are needed to make glass. Extracting these chemicals and compounds or manufacturing in an industrial laboratory emits carbon emissions into the atmosphere and chemical wastes into the earth or water supplies. By recycling products, the same paper and glass and other products are used again and again. This minimizes the demand to manufacture chemicals or extract resources from the environment, as well as to minimize the need to industrially create these products. All of these circumstances cut carbon emissions and preserve resources.
Energy is always consumed by human beings. However, the industrial and manufacturing global economy on this planet requires immense amounts of energy for electricity and heating in order to create products. Whether its electricity from coal or nuclear energy, or heat from gas or oil, the processes that create energy emit carbon emissions or leave waste products and at an incredible rate. When humans recycle, the collective demand for energy is minimized relatively. Like the preserving resources example, by recycling, the demand for new paper or glass is reduced, helping to cut carbon emissions.
Economy and Innovations
By adding more needs to the economy, recycling ends up adding more jobs to the economy and increases innovation within the sustainability/recycling sector. The economy needs workers who can help recycle materials and then resell these products back into the market. In addition, recycled products end up being cheaper to buy for businesses than new products. This saves businesses money to the point where they can reinvest in their business or even hire new workers. At the same time, innovative recycling companies find new niche products to recycle and market those services to consumers. Companies, like STS Electronic Recycling and others like it, help recycle computers parts, which in today’s society are major products in landfills. Through innovations and the creation of new jobs to recycle more products than ever before, recycling helps the economy.
Recycling is an immensely beneficial process. From a household putting out their recycled goods for the municipal garbage service to a large corporation mass recycling products, recycling can cut carbon emissions, save energy, reduce the size of landfills, and add jobs to the economy.