Reducing the waste that ends up in landfills should be a key strategy on every environmental improvement plan. Strategies such as recycling, mulching and reusing products often reduce landfill volumes because recycling converts waste products into new products. For example, old glass bottles can be easily recycled into new bottles, décor or other products and reused. Even used plastic bags can be recycled into benches and other plastic products. However, there are several additional benefits of recycling.
Natural Resource Conservation
Natural resources are limited resources we receive from the earth. They include petroleum, precious metals, sand and other natural elements. Recycling reduces the burden on these elements. For example, forests are saved by recycling paper and other wood products. Fort Lauderdale electronics recycling promotes the reuse of electronic equipment in new products, reducing the amount of metals and other resources needed for new products.
Many of the raw materials used in the production process are mined, logged or quarried, which degrades the natural environment. By reducing the need for these practices, countries can reduce their negative effects.
Extracting natural resources and manufacturing processes have the capability of polluting the air, water and land. For example, cans, plastics and production and cleaning chemicals are hazardous industrial waste products that pollute. In addition, the extraction process may contribute to pollution because these processes may use chemicals or other mining techniques. Also, plastic products that could have been recycled are often found in waterways and oceans hundreds of miles from where they entered the environment, resulting in coastal pollution, but recycling reuses these waste products in the production of new goods so they don’t end up polluting the land and waterways.
Because new raw materials don’t have to be consistently harvested, recycling protects delicate ecosystems that support wildlife and plant life. When their natural environments are disrupted or polluted, animals and plants lose their natural habitats and have to move into other areas. Those that do not or cannot are often lost.
Because the extraction and initial refinement of materials has been completed, using recycled products in the manufacturing process reduces energy consumption. For example, producing paper products from recycled paper reduces energy consumption by 40%, while aluminum products produced from recycled aluminum cans and foil reduces energy consumption by 95%. Glass and metals are often 100% recyclable into new products.
Don’t just throw out your trash. Help protect and preserve the environment and save energy through recycling.