Recycling, Reusing a Must for Environmental Protection

Recycling, Reusing a Must for Environmental Protection Recycling, Reusing a Must for Environmental Protection

Some find it difficult to accept that proper waste management can have a huge impact on environmental conservation, but that does not change the fact that recycling waste can have a profound effect on the national effort to protect the environment.

The more developed a country the more waste it produces. For example, daily waste production in Iran with a population of 80 million is 40,000 tons, while in Germany, which has the same population, more than 90,000 tons of waste is produced every day.

Nevertheless, the environmental impact of waste in Germany is negligible because more than 80% of it is recycled while the rest is hygienically disposed. This is while in Iran, where sanitary waste disposal is uncommon, only 8% of the waste is recycled.

“Waste is a national resource, and by not recycling it we’re essentially throwing away our wealth,” said Sanaz Sabeti, an expert on urban waste at the Department of Environment’s chapter in Alborz Province, according to Mehr News Agency.

She said that by 2020, Iran’s daily waste production will top 77,000 tons. “Up to 85% of urban waste can be recycled.”

  An Economic and Environmental Necessity  

Recycling waste makes economic and environmental sense. It is good for the environment because by using waste products, which are of no use, and converting them into the same new products, less natural resources are used to produce new products.

By using recycled waste products less trash is sent to the landfills, which in turn helps in reducing air, water and soil pollution. Improper disposal of waste has dire environmental consequences. All landfills produce some leachate (the liquid that drains or ‘leaches’ from a landfill). Whether the leachate contaminates groundwater depends on how the landfill is built, as well as on characteristics of the site.

The risks from leachate are due to its high organic contaminant concentrations and high concentration of ammonia. Pathogenic microorganisms that might be present in it are often cited as the most important. But pathogenic organism counts reduce rapidly with time in the landfill, so this only applies to the freshest leachate. If not managed properly, leachate can contaminate groundwater and soil, rendering them toxic to humans, wildlife and plants.

Recycling also helps save energy, which in turn helps reduce the effects of climate change. By recycling one aluminum can, enough energy is saved to power a television for about three hours, according to the Aluminum Association. Recycling an aluminum can requires less than 5% of the energy that would be expended in creating a similar can out of fresh bauxite ore.

Reusing or recycling one ton of plastic means the equivalent of saving 11 barrels of oil.

It can also help create jobs. For every one job at a landfill, there are ten jobs in recycling processing and 25 jobs in recycling-based manufacturing. The recycling industry employs more workers than the auto industry, according to the conservation organization Ecocycle.