Why Should Recycling Be Mandatory?

782 words | 3 page(s)

Two decades ago, few would care about waste accumulation in our houses and landfills. However, with the intensity of industrialization and consequent growth of the consumerism, the authorities of various ranks rang the bell given the high likelihood of possible ecological disaster. Therefore, rather than anyone’s whim, the issue of recycling is global. The essay captures the most evident reasons why recycling should be mandatory as follows: recycling lessens the need for landfills, recycling benefits energy-saving, and finally recycling generates economic benefits. Beyond the scope of the activities accomplished by the devoted environmentalists, recycling should be mandatory to every household in the civilized and eco-friendly society.

Recycling lessens the need for landfills
The sustainability of recycling serves as the best response to the rapidly increasing consumerism trends and subsequent amounts of waste. The dynamically changing lifestyle practices concern disposable items, which accumulate even more waste. The overwhelming amount of packaging, however, is not biodegradable (Kahle, & Gurel-Atay, 2014). While landfills do not break down waste but only store it, the burying of garbage adversely affects an oxygen-free environment while the organic waste is decomposed in a slow fashion. Further, the decomposition of the organic waste in landfills causes the production of methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for climate change shifts. It generates excessive amounts of heat into the atmosphere, reportedly 25 times more compared to carbon dioxide (Porter, 2002). Thus, the global warming effect of methane is enormous because when burnt it produces heat-generating carbon dioxide. On a global scale, methane emissions account for a great proportion of overall landfill emissions. Thus, as a result of the landfill gas recovery, organic material will be diverted, which will eliminate methane production. Further, the applied practices of waste accumulation and disposal in landfills cause hazardous diseases. Vast emissions of infectious gasses result in serious respiratory diseases. The toxic liquids stored in landfills further pollute water sources and spread dangerous diseases. Recycling is rather beneficial for the environment because the process assumes saving resources and lessening the pollution of the landfills, air and water. Considering the amount of waste disposal on a global scale, recycling is not an option but a mandatory measure to save the Planet.

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Recycling associates with energy-saving
More energy conservation is achieved through the wide-scale implementation of the recycling processes. As a result, considerable amounts of energy are being saved. Compared to the products made from scratch, the recycled products do not require so much processing to make them usable again. For instance, recycling of aluminum cans will save above 95 per cent of the energy compared to the production of the same quantity of aluminum from bauxite (Lienig & Bruemmer, 2017). Recycling of plastic bottles saves up to 76 per cent of energy, while recycled paper saves up to 40 percent, and recycled glass up to 30 per cent respectively (Tierney, 2015). By contrast, the processes that deploy raw materials (wood, oil, ore etc) are energy-consuming. Many, therefore, consider the win-win solution in recycling, the process that assumes waste conversion into the new products.

Recycling assumes economic benefits
Given the depletion of the energy sources and rising cost for energy, recycling is considered as a win-win option to save on production costs. Recycling presents a highly diverse and labor intensive industry (Minter, 2015). The industry holds a vast potential for employment. Landfill waste management holds far lesser potential in job creation compared to recycling. On average, the disposal of 10,000 tons of waste in a landfill will require six workers, whereas the recycling process for the same amount of waste will employ 36 workers (Ackerman, 1997). With the vaster amount of recycling initiatives and projects, more industries will follow suit and create new jobs.

The paper has embraced the core reasons for making recycling mandatory, i.e. recycling lessens the need for landfills, recycling benefits energy-saving and finally recycling assumes economic advantages. Given the increasing accumulation of waste disposal on a global scale, on all possible levels recycling should become a legally binding commitment that will help us save the Planet. Recycling is a win-win solution in terms of waste conversion into the new products. Finally, more recycling initiatives and projects will boost more employment across the industries.

  • Ackerman, F. (1997). Why Do We Recycle?: Markets, Values, and Public Policy. Island Press.
  • Kahle, L., & Gurel-Atay, E. eds. (2014). Communicating Sustainability for the Green Economy. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
  • Lienig, J., & Bruemmer, H. (2017). “Recycling Requirements and Design for Environmental Compliance” In: Fundamentals of Electronic Systems Design, Springer.
  • Minter, A. (2015). Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade. Bloomsbury Press.
  • Porter, R. (2002). The Economics of Waste. Resources for the Future.
  • Tierney, J. (2015). “The Reign of Recycling.” The New York Times, retrieved October 24, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/opinion/sunday/the-reign-of-recycling.html

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