Reducing Garbage by Recycling
We are all familiar with the global environmental campaign of reducing, reusing and recycling or the 3Rs. This campaign aims to reduce the amount of garbage being thrown into dumpsites and landfills. By reducing garbage we help the environment is so many ways. We are also helping the government save money and create jobs.
How do we reduce the amount of garbage? There are two main ways: reusing and recycling.
Reusing is using an item again to save money, energy and resources. This does not require an additional step of reprocessing the item. An example of reusing would be using discarded plastic bottles to store water or other liquids. Just imagine the number of bottles you could save by reusing old ones. Some stores even offer discounts for using old plastic bottles. Remember when you want to reuse and item, make sure to wash it well to prevent any contamination and spread of bacteria. Reusing items could be done as long as the item is still functional. In the above example, if the plastic bottle has cracks, then it is time to throw it away or better yet, recycle that cracked plastic bottle.
Recycling is often confused with reducing. Just like reusing, recycling helps the environment by lessening the amount of garbage in landfills. When there is less garbage, there would also be less pollution that harms the earth.
Recycling is breaking down the components, reprocessing the components and producing something new. The added step of reprocessing requires energy and time; it is also an additional cost. That is why it is the last option in the 3Rs. But recycling is still done and encouraged especially when an item is not suitable for reusing, for example the cracked plastic bottle. The cracked plastic bottle is cleaned and processed to create a new plastic bottle. When multiple plastic bottles are processed, it could be used to create bigger items like tables and chairs. Other items that could be recycled are glass, paper, metal, and cloth. These materials are ideally recycled because there is a steady supply of used glass, paper, etc.; one could obtain these used items every day. There are recycling centers in which these items are deposited. Some centers offers monetary compensation depending on the weight of the items. Because of this incentive, a lot of people are encouraged to recycle.
Aside from helping the environment, recycling also helps the state save money and create jobs. The U.S. Recycling Economic Informational Study had concluded that more than one million jobs have been created due to recycling centers. And in New York City, recycling saved more than $20 million this is because of the reduced landfill costs.
The government together with many private companies promote and encourage recycling. Many companies manufacture everyday items such as writing paper and plastic bags at a much lower cost compared to those none recycled counterparts.
It is not just enough to introduce recycled items to the market. Public information and education on recycling is also important. If citizens understand the benefit and use of recycling then they would be encouraged to actually participate in recycling.
How could they participate?
Be a responsible buyer, support recycled products. Carefully inspect the packaging and look for the symbol for recycling. The presence of the symbol indicates that the item has been made from recycled material. Purchasing recycled materials helps the environment minimize the amount garbage in landfills. Or just try free samples products before to buy them, you can find a lot of samples around internet.
All in all, following the 3Rs: reducing, reusing and recycling helps save the environment, create jobs, and generate income. With the government’s help, private sectors and cooperation of citizens, the 3Rs would be a success.