Table of Contents
Recycling is a form of waste management of waste and material that have been used once again and can probably be re-used. Recycling results in the reduction of energy used, fresh and raw material consumption reduction, pollution (air and water pollution), and finally, the greenhouse emissions. Such environmental benefits are the primary reason why recycling is known. The environmental benefits are complimented with preservation, and economic advantages as the environmental result in the conservation of the eco-system and the price cuts lead to financial savings. The economic benefits accrued to recycling include money saving for the waste generators, and through the creation of jobs. In this study, we will look at various government bodies, businesses, and institutions in trying to understand the concepts of economic and environmental, preservation benefits of recycling.
The economic benefits of recycling and waste re-use
To achieve the economic benefit through recycling, then the environmental benefit has to be achieved first, as the attaining of one concept is overly dependent on the other. Recycling has been made compulsory for many organizations and businesses although it is not something that has been achieved by a majority of the companies. For the few that have been able to do recycling, they can link themselves with the very many jobs that have been created. For example, in New Jersey, recycling has seen through the employment of more than 27000 people, (New Jersey WasteWise Business Network, page. 3). Besides, there is money that is saved by avoiding the costs incurred during waste disposal, and reduction in the solid waste services. In the long run, with the cost incurred during the waste generator process will result in achieving of many financial/economic benefits.
There is landfill, disposal transfer station and incinerator costs that are cut according to the different charges on the size of garbage—in New Jersey, the service costs for waste disposal are 80 dollars per ton, (New Jersey WasteWise Business Network, page 4). Therefore, economically it can be argued that there is a financial advantage as the costs of the disposal of the waste are cut, and the money can be used in another place or function. Businesses and organizations can also attain other benefits through the selling the wastes that can be recycled or re-used. Waste generators can earn revenue from the sale of the recyclable commodities in the market.
According to recycling economists, states like Vermont, California, and Michigan, where recycling is done argue that the money earned cannot make you richer but can save the money and use them on other expenses. Money is the biggest incentive for the people to recycle and reuse the wastes that can be recycled, (Brittani, par. 3). Besides, it ensures that it is proper and an appropriate use of the available resources. Government agencies are encouraging their people to reuse and recycle wastes in the places that they are: schools, businesses, offices, homes, and other workplaces. Municipal councils have also put up with bins where different materials can be dumped by those who don’t need to recycle their wastes. This is done in accordance to the Recyclable, Reusable and Reduce where plastics metals and organic wastes can be separately put for collection to be recycled later.
The environmental benefits of recycling and waste re-use
Most of the wastes that pollute the environment include greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste (organic and inorganic), and the accumulation of energy. Recycling, Reuse and Reduce—commonly referred to as to the 3R’s in municipal waste management have been of great importance to the environment. To achieve the economic benefit through recycling, then the environmental and preservation benefits have to be achieved first as the attaining of one is overly dependent on the other, (Brittani, par. 3). The benefits of recycling can be confused to be either economic or environmental as they are the same and as it is, economic benefits are achieved after attaining environmental benefits. The benefits include: metals- some metals such as aluminum, steel, and copper can be recycled because of their production effects. After some value addition, they can be used in the place of cement. The outcome is that it will save the amount of water used and polluted as cement water insensitive thereby requiring a lot to be used, (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, page 16). Besides, regarding pollution, this form of recycling has helped reduce the amount of dumping and landfill.
Asphalt, brick, and concrete are massive in nature and have lower embodied energy content per ton. In a year, these wastes are disposed of because of the little value that they have. But it is advisable to recycle them as the material is readily available for use. In the year 2006-2007, more than 1.7 tons of concrete were recycled which was 155times larger the amount of recycled aluminum in the same period, (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, page 17). Through recycling, there is a reduction of energy consumed which makes it cheaper and of vital importance to the manufacturers and the product users.
Solid organic waste such as timber along with other organic solid waste material can be recovered and reprocessed to be used in making of other products like cardboards, (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, page 19). The impact of this cycle is that the process will save the environment from pollution and accumulated waste that is dumped in the dumpsites. The result is that the environment would be preserved to remain clean and pure, along with the financial benefits accrued to the process by the waste generator. For example, deforestation is minimized as wood and its products can be recycled after the first use in the making of writing paper and some instances, make some toiletries like tissue paper thus conserving the environment, (Rinkeshi, par. 5).
Glass bottles, laminated and broken glass and plastic such as rubber recycling have little recycling benefits accrued to them. With their recycling and combinations with other things in the manufacturing plants, will significantly add value to the glass and plastics, (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, page 20, 21). Dumping of the waste will result in the pollution of water, air, and the soil. In some way through recycling, the pollution is avoided, and in manufacturing plants, little water is used (negative) values are used in the bid to clean the plastics to get into the construction industry for recycling process to be completed.
Greenhouse gas emissions and treatment of organic waste material in the landfill. The environmental benefits accrued to this, are determined by the hazard or effects that could have occurred in a scenario where the effects of the emissions and waste management are not mitigated, (Weston, 2). The implication of this is that the net profits of recycling are increased in the landfill processes are largely greenhouse intensive, and can be reduced if the dump process releases light greenhouse emissions by the absorption of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, Sulphur, and nitrogen by the landfills, (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, page 22). Minimizing of the emission of the gasses will imply that there are fewer chances of accelerating the effects of global warming around the globe. Additionally, less combustion of materials like fossil fuels, rubber, and plastics that can be recycled can narrow their dangerous effects to minimized levels, (Rinkeshi, par. 3).
Recycling benefits in preservation
Along with the economic and natural benefits that rate achieved, the mother nature of the environment is maintained and put into a natural balance. The implication of this is that the environment is preserved. There will be little or minimal pollution and the natural resources ranging from water, vegetation to animals, can freely coexist and regenerate. Besides, they can be recycled over and over again, (Rinkeshi, par.6(4)). Besides, material that could be disposed of in the environment resulting in the production and manufacturing of new products. Thereby reducing the need for new materials as the old one that can be recycled avoids being dumped in the environment. There is the optimal use of solid materials like wood, metals, glass and plastics resulting the minimization of water, soil and air pollution.
The environment is also preserved and remains in its natural state as the choking of landfill sites is minimized by avoiding dumping of recyclable and reusable material. Land and water pollution are reduced as the contamination levels are minimal, (Weston, 2). Air pollution is also reduced as the decomposition levels are reduced because there is a good use of the organic wastes in households. By doing so, the environment can be preserved by today’s generation for the future generations to enjoy the environment in its natural mother nature along with the resources it has to offer.
In conclusion, from the study, we can say that in the bid to attain economic benefits, economic benefits are achieved. After achieving environmental benefits, the environment is conserved, and there are financial costs that are accomplished by saving the money on buying and manufacturing new products in the case that there are options that in the wastes they can dispose of, can be recycled. Besides, by minimizing the levels of pollution on soil, air, land and water, the environment can be maintained in its natural mother nature. Conserving the environment in its natural form, the resources can coexist, and raw materials are reused resulting in the conservation of the environment so that the future generations can enjoy the ecosystem.
- Brittani, Sponaugle. (2014). Four advantages to recycling that benefit the environment. Retrieved on February 22, 2017.
- Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, (2010). Environmental benefits of recycling.
- New Jersey WasteWise Business Network, (2013). The economic benefits of recycling and waste reduction- WasteWise case studies from the private and public sectors.
- Rinkeshi, (2009). Advantages and disadvantages of recycling. Retrieved on February 22, 2017.