When we do not recycle our goods, they go to landfills. To operate the landfills, it takes a large number of personnel and equipment to keep the operations flowing in a productive manner. It takes vast amounts of expensive fuels to run the proper machinery which is a viable energy source that can be used in other places. The workers also burn energy to operate the equipment and run the landfills. Another way to save energy is when they recycle wood and create particle board and a bio mass for fuel. The wood is already used but is a renewable resource that has many uses.
Kim and Song explain “the wood that has been transformed in to bio mass can be used as fire wood to heat a house. The results for both recycling systems showed that the particleboard from wood wastes produces ”428 kg C02-eq compared to particleboard from fresh woods, and the energy production using wood wastes is -154 kg C02eq compared to that of the combined heat and power generation process” (Kim, Song 203). When aluminum cans are recycled, it takes 95 percent less energy to produce new cans from the aluminum ore.
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This energy source is extremely cheaper than using fossil fuels and petroleum based fuels. This saves the companies and cities money to the point that many companies are mining landfills. In Chicago they are broke down to 50 wards for garbage. They are currently breaking down seven wards further into “Garbage Grids. ” These garbage grids will turn into recycling centers for the community. Jonson explains that the city of Chicago quoted “we’re looking at somewhere around $25 million to $30 million savings when we get this done” Oohnson 1), Another benefit of recycling is the reuse of our resources.
Lithium batteries are a growing product being consumed across our nation and even the world. Dewulf notes that “it is for example estimated that battery applications account for nearly 25% of the worldwide cobalt demand in 2007” (Dewulf 23). When we recycle these batteries, they can reuse the lithium and we are not destroying and overusing our natural resources. Paper recycling is probably the best known source of recycling for many Americans. Hubbe notes that “recovered fiber accounted for almost 60% of the worldwide manufacture of paper and paperboard in 2010” (Hubbe 1828). Recycling 1 ton of paper saves an average of 7,000 gallons of water; 3. cubic yards of landfill space; 3 barrels of oil; 17 trees; and 4,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity’ (1829). When we recycle the paper it saves our tress and forests. Trees are a renewable resource, but they take time to grow. The environment is one of the most important subjects that we can save with recycling. Recycling can and will reduce the amount of trash in a landfill. When there is so much trash in a landfill, it can go into my next point, recycling can reduce pollution and contamination of our lands.
Many things that are just discarded are toxic to our natural resources. They pollute the soil, the water, and the air. Recycling can greatly reduce these hazards. As I noted recycling can save our trees as well. Trees provide us with many resources and everyday objects. The most important thing trees provide us is oxygen. In hospitals all across the United States, there has been a recycling program put in place for non-biohazard materials. Generally they used to take all of the rubbish and incinerate it, greatly pollution our air. With these step, “recycling decreases greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted from waste disposal (Riedel Sl O).
Recycling can also cost money. In “Recycling Programs in Alaska” Sommers explains that “recycling tends to be volume based, so smaller communities are more challenged to make it cost effective” (Sommer 2). The more you have to recycle the more cost efficient it will become and the more money you will save. Recycling saves resources, but all results are not good. The more you recycle paper, the less quality you will get. Hubbe explains that there is a “declining quality of low-cost used paper supplies and intensified competition” (1829).
With recycling being more efficient in larger communities, there are some ptions for smaller communities. Smaller communities can piggyback of off the larger cities in the area and build a joint program to reduce cost. The quality of recycled products are not always lower than virgin made products. Maldonado notes that “development of a system for evaluating a specific quality characteristic of recycled paper sheets using techniques of image analysis and pattern recognition” (Maldonado 8809) is being used to ensure full quality in recycled paper.