Waste recycling is essential to ensuring that we conserve our environment for the future. Waste management and forms of recycling might range from everything from reusing paper, to composting and the safe disposal of electrical items. Different materials can be easily sorted at home and at work depending on the local council, while larger items can be sold on to other consumers, or in the case of mobile phones, sold for recycling. The more general environmental benefits of recycling and their solutions are as follows:
1 – Key Benefits
Recycling paper and cardboard helps to reduce tree deforestation, with the conversion of old paper into recycled types much more cost effective and less harmful than pulping and converting trees. Recycling processes generally use less energy than new production and conversion.
Recycling also limits the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other harmful gas emissions that pass into the atmosphere from landfills. When totalled up, these gases will continue to cause damage to the planet’s ozone layer, which will in turn cause increased global warming and the danger of sea levels rising and flooding.
In the same way, food waste placed into landfills produces methane that both harms the ozone layer, and carries a much higher toxicity level than carbon dioxide. Landfills can also be home to dangerous gold, zinc and other metallic components of discarded electrical equipment, which over time will seep into soil and water supplies, affecting both natural ecosystems and the health of our drinking water.
2 – Easy Conservation Solutions
Good recycling practice needn’t be difficult. The important thing to focus on is knowing what can be recycled, and how often to do it, while taking general care over the kind of products that you buy, and how long you plan to use them for. The UK currently lags behind the rest of Europe in terms of recycling, despite a wide ranging set of paper, glass, plastic, food waste and garden waste collections being carried out around the country.
Most people don’t realise that 60% of their average bin rubbish can be recycled. Although some councils do not yet offer a full range of services for materials like glass, most areas will have recycling bins and centres where substances not removed from the home can be taken. In the same way, around 50% of waste can be composted, from food left overs to tea bags, pet food and other materials. For electrical goods, many companies will now pay for old mobile phones, while old furniture and equipment like refrigerator can be passed on to other people for free through services like Freecycle.
3 – Focusing on Sustainability and Diversity
Recycling schemes will ultimately help the environment by converting waste into new products, while also creating high quality fertiliser and biogases that can be used as alternative forms of fuel. By making a small but consistent solution to recycling, we can help further these broader plans, as well as cutting down on the amount of disposable waste that we build up around the home.
Guest author Christina Appleworth writes on behalf of Select Environmental, specialising in waste management, waste collection and recycling. Visit www. selectenviro.co.uk today for your waste management needs!