How Far Is Recycling the Answer to the Problems of Waste?

Topics: Recycling, Incineration, Landfill Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: May 18, 2012
Unwanted or useless materials produced by manufacturing process and consumption have caused many environmental problems and health risks unless disposed properly. Excessive consumption of goods leads to unnecessary waste which takes up acres of limited landfill space. Processing and reusing the waste material to generate new product is clearly one of the solutions to tackle the problems of waste. Even though there are still alternatives such as incineration plants, landfills and education, I believe to a large extent that recycling is the answer to the problems of waste.

Firstly, recycling has helped many countries to save space in limited landfills. The number of landfills is decreasing, while the cost to send waste to them is on the rise. Most states in America have less than twenty years of landfill capacity, and it is difficult to set up another new landfill sites in densely populated areas. Indeed, recycling is largely responsible for averting the landfill crisis. In America, recycling paper has saved the country more than 90 million cubic yards of landfill space. Thus, it is true that recycling solves some problems of waste.

Recycling is also the most probable way to answer the problems of waste because it is economically efficient and energy-saving. Actually, well-run recycling plants cost less than incinerators and landfills. Recycling business also creates revenue and helps to pay for its own maintenance while landfilling and incinerators do not. Land filling never saves energy but recycling does. It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminium than it does to make it from raw materials. By-product gasses emission such as carbon dioxide that contributed to global warming is reduced as less fuel is used.

Incinerators may seem to be the best alternative for some countries with very limited space. With more than 2000 tonnes of waste delivered daily to singapore’s four incineration plants, burning the waste to ashes may be the most cost-effective...
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