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9 Advantages of Recycling

9 Advantages of Recycling

To help conserve the Earth’s finite resources and reduce waste and pollution it is crucial that us as individuals, as well as residential, commercial and industrial spheres, rigorously implement the three Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

As a result, the benefits of recycling are more important than ever. So, how does recycling help the environment? This article explores the environmental benefits, such as conserving Earth’s finite resources and decreasing the impact of toxic landfills, the amount of plastic dumped in the oceans every year and global pollution levels. 

So, why is it important to recycle? This article also discusses the positive social and economic impact that recycling has on both individuals and businesses.

1. Conservation of natural resources

To outline the purpose and benefits of recycling, we first need to understand that natural resources are finite. In other words, the more we recycle, the more we can conserve natural materials and promote responsible consumption individually and among larger corporations.

Deforestation, for example, destroys a vast amount of our natural resources, such as virgin rainforests and woodland ecosystems. By recycling cardboard and paper, the reliance on deforestation reduces and the ecosystems that balance our weather systems are preserved instead of destroyed.

Aluminium, copper and iron can also be recycled, which reduces the need to mine for more of the natural resources, in turn conserving the natural supplies of these materials.

2. Energy saving 

Reducing energy consumption is another reason why it is important to recycle. For example, recycling tin cans to create new aluminium products uses 95% less energy than creating the product from unused materials. This not only reduces the use of raw materials, but also ensures that the energy we use is more sustainable, both economically and environmentally.

The same energy-saving principles apply to the production of plastic and paper products, too. Overall, businesses can reduce their energy consumption by up to 30% by using recycled materials. In short, reused materials lower energy consumption and lessen impact on our planet’s environment.

3. Climate change mitigation 

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), also contribute to climate change. Studies show that the fossil fuels burned to generate energy trap heat and warm up the planet. The energy needed in most production processes tends to be created with fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

A benefit of recycling is that it reduces the energy needed to manufacture raw materials into sellable and manufacturable materials, thus reducing greenhouse emissions. If we can reduce our fossil fuels usage by recycling, then we reduce the amount of environmentally harmful gases emitted and the damaging effect they have on the planet.

4. Economic benefits

Another one of the advantages of recycling is that many recycling initiatives reward companies and individuals for collecting recyclable items such as cans, glass, bottles, and plastic. Experts have proven that it costs significantly less to dispose of recycled waste. 

Businesses in the hospitality industry, for example, can invest in organic recycling. This is a system where waste is not simply binned, but recycled into usable and valuable compost, sometimes through large food waste bins. This has an incredibly positive environmental impact as well as reducing costs associated with waste disposal. This compost is then used to feed plants, thus positively maintaining the natural fertility of soil by organic composting.

5. Reduction in pollution 

Recycling tackles pollution on multiple fronts, both solid waste and greenhouse gases. Studies indicate that recycling materials like cardboard, for example, significantly reduce the production and release of CO2. 

Along with CO2, recycling materials also reduces the amount of waste produced in manufacturing. During anaerobic decomposition, solid waste produces methane which has 21 times more warming potential than CO2, making it that much more dangerous for the environment.

Recycling also limits the pollution caused by operations when sourcing and reworking virgin materials. During mining operations dangerous chemicals can pollute soil and water. Water is also used to refine raw materials, which leaves polluted water as waste. Recycling materials reduces the need for mining, thus reducing the production of harmful emissions and pollution. 

6. Community engagement 

Everyone can make a difference with recycling. Whether it’s a small-scale effort at home or a notable initiative within a large company, every single item that is recycled can help lower the impact on the environment and also have a positive impact on the community.

One of the advantages of recycling is strengthened communal ties. Governmental structures also encourage us to learn about the effects of global warming and what we can do at home, work and school. By putting recycling bins in public places, for example, it is possible to communicate a positive visible message to the greater community.

7. Reduction in landfill waste

Environmentalists maintain that there is no such thing as a safe or environmentally responsible landfill. Along with net zero carbon emissions, many advocate the need for zero waste schemes when discussing landfill runoff and waste. 

Recycling prevents waste going to landfill. Instead of taking years to degrade, releasing pollutants and emissions, and taking up space that could be used for more beneficial reasons, recycling reduces landfill waste and positively impacts the environment. 

For example, one way we can tackle landfill waste is composting at home. Food waste can be broken down into a home-grown fertiliser that can be used for plants grown on windowsills, and in gardens and allotments. 

8. Job creation 

Job creation should also be considered when answering ‘What are the benefits of recycling?’ Many experts believe that employers should shift their focus from traditional to green jobs. 

One of the benefits of recycling is that it opens the doors to many ‘green job’ opportunities, many of which the recycling industry already provides. Green career paths can include tech-based and manual positions, as well as outreach and education. The recycling industry has created a range of new jobs alongside the environmental benefits.

9. Innovation & technology

Today, technological advances such as IoT-enabled waste management solutions and waste valorisation systems have boosted recycling efforts as they work to rectify the imbalances related to climate change. For example, intelligent systems like smart bins detect and sort different waste categories to make recycling easier, and infrared sensors powered by artificial intelligence sort and classify plastics for more efficient recycling.

Technology has been developed especially for easier and new ways to recycle. For example, pyrolysis reduces plastic waste by changing plastic into fuel and scientists have even used nanotechnology to strengthen traditional materials and make them more suited to recycling. 

Do your part and recycle!

When weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of recycling, the benefits beat any drawbacks. Choosing to recycle materials contributes to the reduction of energy usage and costs in the manufacturing of new products, thereby lowering emissions of greenhouse gases as well as harmful waste.

It also helps to reinforce an overall sense of community by encouraging others to take on environmentally friendly practices, inspiring new technological advancements, and creating new green job opportunities.

Shredall SDS Group is your frontline strategic partner in any recycling initiative. It is our mission to ensure the effective recycling of paper, waste, and tech. Explore Shredall’s services, such as:

There are many benefits to implementing recycling initiatives for your business once your recycling needs have been identified and assessed. As a carbon neutral company with a high-priority environmental commitment, Shredall offers multi-tiered recycling solutions and other solutions to expedite and support your go-green agenda and help you reduce your carbon footprint.

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