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How Does Recycling Work?

The way of living nowadays provides for advancement and modernization but at the same time necessitates for the protection and preservation of the only planet where humans can live. Anything that we do to the environment goes back to us. The surroundings and resources need appropriate treatment in light of its near destruction and depletion. Various attempts have been made to save the Earth amidst the harmful impacts of the now renowned “global warming. ” However, addressing the problem entails collective effort and the consistent participation of every concerned individual.

One such way to maintain the current and acceptable condition of the planet is recycling. This method is like going back to the basics. Before embarking on more complicated endeavors, it is important to note that recycling is a good way to start preserving this planet for the benefit of the future generations. Recycling not just involves creating something new from an old material but also allows the user to maximize the utilization of the product to its fullest. What is Recycling?

The Waste Prevention World site, sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, defines recycling as “using waste as material to manufacture a new product. ” It requires “altering the

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physical form of an object or material and making a new object from the altered material” (“Waste Prevention Terms and Definitions”). Similarly, it is a means to reprocess utilized or discarded materials for another purpose, making fresh products or commodities as a result.

It is just like the accumulation and usually the repeated processing of materials that were thrown away, only for them to be utilized again. Benefits of Recycling According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, environmental-related issues are now too complicated that people think they could not have a direct impact to every individual. The said Department said that global problems such as “global warming, hazardous waste, loss of rain forests, endangered species, acid rain, the ozone layer and the municipal waste crisis,” when left misaddressed, can be uncontrolled in the future.

What the world needs is for the saving efforts and programs to be spearheaded by organizations as well as the participation of the business industries and the support of the government. However, initial efforts can even start in one’s backyard because there are things that people can control. This is where recycling and decreasing waste can set in and actually produce great results. Moreover, recycling aids humanity in preventing the natural resources and energy from becoming exhausted. It can also help restore the environment and foster the economy.

Recycling also translates into a lucrative business (“The Benefits of Recycling”). The pressing exhaustion of the planet’s limited pile of natural resources greatly affects the environment. This depletion is caused by the continued utilization of throwaway commodities and the promotional labeling of the business sector. The use of disposable materials specifically burdens and takes a big toll on the planet’s irreplaceable natural resources that are located in the untarnished forests and mines.

Recycling uses materials to create fresh and possibly new products and packaging which cuts down the usage and prevents the further depletion of natural resources. Citing a specific example, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported that in recycling or reprocessing materials such as “newsprint, office paper and mixed paper,” the state was able to preserve almost more than 8. 2 million trees for the past years. The same department added that recycling even results in the production of even finer materials as compared to those made out of unused raw materials.

One example is the recycled tin material in “tin” cans which turn out to be a polished version of the original product thus making it more precious. Keeping the production of waste prior to its generation further lessens the necessity for disposal. Thus, it promotes the preservation of more natural resources (“Recycling Saves Natural Resources”). The preservation of energy is a highly considerable environmental gain that recycling offers. This is because utilizing energy necessitates the use or consumption of insufficient fossil fuels and includes discharge of a large amount of air and water pollutants.

The measures in providing recycled products to businesses, such as accumulation, processing, and transfer of materials, normally utilize a few amount of energy. This is much better than providing unused materials to various industries. This is because steps such as removing, polishing, transferring, and processing actually use more energy. Moreover, energy preservation, resulting from recycling, actually falls in the manufacturing procedure. This is possible since the products were already processed (“Recycling Saves Energy”).

In the past few years, the practice of recycling in Pennsylvania has resulted in the preservation of adequate amount of energy that powered a large number of households. Another good effect of recycling is that it cuts in half the utilization of energy. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said that “every pound of steel recycled saves 5,450 BTUs of energy, enough to light a 60-watt bulb for over 26 hours. ” Recycling has similar positive result with the preservation of a ton of glass that equals to “nine gallons of fuel oil.

” The reprocessing of utilized aluminum cans only needs almost five percent of the energy. In fact, a recycled can preserves sufficient electricity to keep a 100-watt light bulb glowing for almost four hours (“Recycling Saves Energy”). By limiting the energy needed by an industry, recycling likewise limits the discharge of greenhouse gas and serves as an additional preventive step to curb the worldwide climate change or global warming. When energy is recycled, there is now a limitation in industrial procedures.

The transport sector also benefits from energy recycling. This is because transportation needs “burning fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel and coal, the most important sources of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions into the environment” (“Recycling Saves Our Environment”). Without these gas discharges, the environment can be conserved. In addition, recycling also results in another gain such as decrease in discharges from incinerators and landfills. Recycled energy further alters removal of tress embedded with carbon.

The state of Pennsylvania has posted a reduction of “greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million metric tons of carbon equivalent” because of recycling (“Recycling Saves Our Environment”). Aside from regulating the emissions of greenhouse gases, recycling cuts down a scope of pollutants from penetrating the environment. When the requirement to pull out and process fresh and unused materials from the surface of the earth is limited, it also gets rid off the pollution that is involved during the first steps of developing a product.

The initial stages of developing a product such as “material extraction, refining, and processing” contaminate the environment due to its toxic materials which serve as the pollutants. These benefits of recycling are supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. In the department’s report, it states that energy saving leads to reduced “greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants” (“Recycling Saves Our Environment”). Recycling also contributes to economic gains in three ways.

These are through “collection and processing, recycling and manufacturing, and reuse and manufacturing” (“Recycling Provides Economic Benefits”). The recycling procedure entails grouping and combining recyclable materials that in effect, needs contribution and effort from a lot of workers in a community. The recycling activities that necessitate the hiring of more workers improve the economy by means of increase in payroll and yearly production. Another economic contributor is recycling manufacturing that refers to the transformation of recyclable materials into usable products.

The reusing and remanufacturing of materials is actually the renewal of materials so that they can be used again just like a new one. The economy of Pennsylvania can attest to the effectiveness of recycling. The said state was attributed to these activities that generate more employment and increase the paychecks of the workers (“Recycling Provides Economic Benefits”). Lastly, recycling is a valuable business technique as it reduces the environmental effects of manufacturing (“Recycling is Good Business”).

This is because recycling serves as a good management tool for domestic and industrial garbage production. Recycling also offers a lot of business opportunities. It allows growth of the industries such as “collection and processing to manufacturing to inventing new technologies” (“Recycling is Good Business”). A city with new businesses produces additional employment and, as a result, improves its economy (“Recycling is Good Business”). Recyclable Materials Reprocessed or reusable products are usually those that are being utilized in manufacturing procedures and those utilized in consumer materials.

Although recyclable materials still have their purposes, the fact that they were just reprocessed often entails degraded or lowered quality. However, the main purpose of recycling—bringing out something new from an old one—converts these materials into useful ones again. Some examples of recyclable materials include newspaper and other kinds of paper wastes. These recycled papers already have shortened fibers that do not require the production of high quality paper. These papers can be turned or converted into cardboard or insulation when recycled.

Indeed, recyclable materials have a lot to offer such as they limit pollution, extend the qualities of landfills and preserve the planet’s natural resources. Recycling Programs in the US The recycling programs in the United States involve “collection of recyclable materials from the waste stream, processing the commodities into new products, and purchasing products containing recycled materials” (“Recycling Programs”). Recycling programs have started way back as an early practice of Native Americans and early migrants in the United States.

During World War II, recycling can be observed by scavenging activities or efforts made out of a lot of recyclable materials. It was, however, only in the latter part of 1960s that the term recycling was formally used. During these years until the 1970s, recycling gained its popularity when concerns about the environment resulted in a lot of recycling programs and policies. It was also during this decade that the National Earth Day was first celebrated where “anti litter campaigns, the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and some municipal and corporate recycling programs” were heralded.

The escalation of worldwide industries for the past decades coupled with the mounting consciousness about the environment have greatly influenced or affected the formulation and improvement of recycling programs not only in the United States but in other parts of the world as well (“Recycling Programs”). Conclusion The benefits and advantages derived from recycling cannot be refuted. It is one of the best things that people have ever invented and implemented. Recycling serves its purpose of making an old material be usable again.

Not only that recycling entails practicality, it also does promote preservation of natural and man-made resources that will prove to be useful again in the next generations. Moreover, recycling helps in enriching a particular area by improving its economy as well as the standard and way of living of its people. Noting the gains that can be derived from the practice of recycling, it is now in our hands to sustain and improve this activity not only for today’s generation but also for the future inhabitants of this planet.

Works Cited

“Recycling Programs. ” 2006. Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd edition. 15 April 2008 <http://www. referenceforbusiness. com/encyclopedia/Pro-Res/Recycling-Programs. html>. “The Benefits of Recycling. ” Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 15 April 2008 <http://www. dep. state. pa. us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/RECYCLE/FACTS/Benefits. htm>. “Waste Prevention World: Waste Prevention Terms and Definitions. ” 1 November 2007. California Integrated Waste Management Board. 15 April 2008 <http://www. ciwmb. ca. gov/Wpw/Define. htm>.

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