Recycling, Reduce and Reuse

By | April 6, 2021


Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally.

Benefits of Recycling:

  • Recycling protects and expands U.S. manufacturing jobs and increases U.S. competitiveness.
  • Recycling reduces the need for land filling and incineration.
  • It prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.
  • Recycling saves energy.
  • Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
  • It conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
  • Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Reduce & Reuse:

  • Between 1960 and 2008 the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.5 pounds per day. The most effective way to stop this trend is by preventing waste in the first place.
  • Waste prevention, also know as “source reduction,” is the practice of designing, manufacturing, purchasing, or using materials (such as products and packaging) in ways that reduce the amount or toxicity of trash created. Reusing items is another way to stop waste at the source because it delays or avoids that item’s entry in the waste collection and disposal system.
  • Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and also combustion.
  • Source reduction conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Waste disposal Advantages and Disadvantages


Ocean Dumping  
 Advantage: Disadvantage:
  • Convenient
  • Inexpensive
  • Source of nutrients, shelter and breeding
  • Ocean overburdened
  •  Destruction of food source
  • Killing of plankton
  • Desalination
Sanitary landfill  
 Advantage: Disadvantage:
  • Volume can increase with little addition of people/equipment
  • Filled land can be reused for other community purpose
  • Complete landfill areas can settle and requires maintenance
  • Requires proper planning, design, and operation
 Advantage: Disadvantage:
  • Requires minimum land
  • Can be operated in any weather
  •  Produces stable odor-free residue
  • Refuse volume is reduced by half
  • Expensive to build and operate
  • High energy requirement requires skilled personnel and continuous maintenance
  • Unsightly – smell, waste, vermin
Open dumping  
 Advantage:  Disadvantage:
  • Inexpensive
  • Health-hazard – insects, rodents etc.
  • Damage due to air pollution
  • Ground water and run-off pollution
 Advantage:  Disadvantage:
  • Key to providing a livable environment for the future
  •  Expensive
  • Some wastes cannot be recycled
  • Technological push needed
  • Separation of useful material from waste difficult

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