Recycling opens a wide gate for job creation through the numerous activities at different stages in the recycling process. It therefore helps in solving some pertinent issues being faced by the modern world such as unemployment, which is a big challenge to both the developed and the developing countries. Employment is created all the way from those people involved in the collection of the waste materials, those providing delivery services of such materials, others are based in the factories recycling the waste and also those people involved in the distribution process.
This chain is truly a value addition chain with the recycled products having a much higher value as compared to the original waste materials from which they were made. The principle of demand and supply is a basic principle in economics. It states that as the supply of a particular commodity decrease, its demand increases pushing up the prices of such goods and services. The recycled materials compete for markets with the original supplies of similar materials.
The recycled materials usually command a lower price and demand as compared with the original ones due to lower performance as a result of contamination, but more importantly provides an alternative (Ehrlich, Para 10). Economically, recycling can also be seen as a cost avoidance strategy. Recycling programs which are well run usually cost less as compared to incinerators and landfills. In contrast with most public services, the recycling function operates within the economy of the market.
Even though in most cases it is supported by the government, much of the benefits are usually enjoyed by the citizens through provision of services such as water and sewerage treatment, harnessing of renewable energy such as the hydro electric power, wind and solar energy. Such sources of power are not only clean but they also provide the much needed energy to drive any economy. This therefore assists in answering the very crucial question on development which should not only be attainable but also sustainable (Werner & Richter, Para 6).
Cost benefit analysis of recycling especially in the local authorities reveals that recycling is a very efficient means of disposing household waste. Included in the economic analysis of recycling are the externalities, which are invaluable benefits and costs accruing to individuals outside their private dealings. Such include reduction in air pollution and emission of green house gases, decreased waste which is hazardous, reduction in the amount of energy consumption (Ikerd, Para 8).
For recycling to be considered environmentally effective and economically feasible, certain requirements must be met. These comprise of sufficient sources of materials to be recycled, a system to extract them and a potential demand for the materials recycled. A moderate level of government involvement in provision of recycling services is usually preferred by economists. They argue that disposal of a product is an externality of production and therefore says that the government is the only well placed institution capable of alleviating dilemma of such a nature (Ehrlich, Para 5).
Conclusion In the modern society which is faced by numerous challenges, a system to solve both economic and environmental issues cannot be ignored. It instead should be accorded as much support as possible. Such a solution has come in the form of recycling which as discussed has helped in solving some major problems. Hence there is need for both the government and the private sector to join hands in supporting recycling and will definitely realize even more benefits.
Ehrlich, Raymond J. : Economic Realities of Recycling. Retrieved on 2nd April 2009 from, http://www. americanchemistry. com/s_plastics/sec_pfpg. asp? CID=1436&DID=5228 Ikerd, John: Recycling for Sustainability. Retrieved on 2nd April 2009 from, http://web. missouri. edu/ikerdj/papers/Nebraska-recycling. htm Werner, Frank & Richter, Klaus: Economic Allocation and Value-Corrected Substitution. Retrieved on 2nd April 2009 from, http://www. scientificjournals. com/sj/lca/Pdf/aId/2585.