After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Meaning Waste Recycling 2. Importance and Benefits of Waste Recycling 3. Environmental Effects.
Meaning of Waste Recycling:
Recycling is processing of used material (waste) into new, useful products. This is done to reduce the use of raw material that would have been used. Recycling also uses less energy and is a way of controlling air, water and land pollution.
Effective recycling starts with household (or the place where the waste was created). In many countries, the authorities help households with bin bags with labels on them. Households then sort out the waste themselves and place them in the right bags for collection. This makes the work less difficult.
Importance and Benefits of Waste Recycling:
We need to start recycling waste to conserve our natural resources. Recycling is simply the process of reusing the items from which utility can still be derived. It is important to recycle waste so that you can at least conserve some of our natural resources for the generations to come. In simple words, recycling or recycling waste is essential to both natural environment and human being.
Recycling is beneficial in many ways such as:
Recycling helps protect the environment:
This is because the recyclable waste material would have been burnt or ended up in the landfill. Pollution of air, land, water and soil is reduced.
Recycling conserves natural resources:
Recycling more waste means that we do not depend too much on raw (natural) resources, which are already massively depleted.
Recycling saves energy:
It takes more energy to produce items with raw materials than from recycling of used materials. This means we are more energy efficient and the prices of products can come down. Recycling waste not only saves our natural resources but also helps save energy. By simply recycling an item or making a basic fix to it, we can save all the energy that would have been consumed in the process of making it.
The same example can be taken with plastic items. A large amount of energy can be saved by simply reusing the plastic items. To recycle waste is to simply reduce pollution.
With the right conditions (air and moisture), organic waste such as food and plant materials can be decomposed by bacteria, fungi, worms and organisms. Decayed organic matter is humus. Yard waste such as grass and flower clippings can also be composted.
Composting can be of two kinds:
1. Bin/pile composting
2. Worm composting (vermiculture).
Bin/pile composting is easier for many households because one does not have to be too careful with what to put into it. Here is what you need: Get an old bin or box (1 cubic yard), or you can buy one from the shop. Ensure that you punch holes around it to help with aeration.
i. Prepare your organic waste matter. Make sure you cut them into pieces (about 1 inch in size). Do not throw in big chunks of the waste. Make sure you separate the organic waste into brown and green parts. Brown parts include wastes like wood chips, saw-dust, yard waste shreds, straw and hay, dry leaves and shredded paper. Green parts include grass trimmings, fruit and veggie scraps, green leaves and livestock manure.
ii. Put the waste in the box in layers, 50% green, and 50% brown.
iii. Mix and add some water every 7 days.
iv. In a couple of weeks, the compost will be ready. It will look dark-brown and smell just like soil.
Environmental Effects of Waste Recycling:
i. Surface water contamination:
Waste that ends up in water bodies negatively changes the chemical composition of water. Technically, this is called water pollution. This will affect all ecosystems existing in water. It can also cause harm to animals that drink such polluted water.
ii. Soil contamination:
Hazardous chemicals that get into the soil (contaminants) can harm plants when they take up the contamination through their roots. If human beings eat plants and animals that have been in contact with such polluted soils, there can be negative impact on their health.
Bad waste management practices can result in land and air pollution and can cause respiratory problems and other adverse health effects as contaminants are absorbed from the lungs into other parts of the body.
Liquid that forms as water trickles through contaminated areas is called Leachate. It forms very harmful mixture of chemicals that may result in hazardous substances entering surface water, groundwater or the soil.