What Value Does Recycling Actually Bring?

As with many things in life, recycling also has it critics. From those say it doesn’t go far enough to actually prevent the accumulation of waste, to those who say the process is so inefficient that it takes more energy and effort than if we were to just continue using raw materials. However, it is undeniable that at our current rate of consumption with no signs of slowing, recycling materials can play a major role in reducing our reliance on raw materials.

Did you know that recycling one tonne of electronics can yield more gold than found in one tonne of gold ore?

The planet is almost at the point of no return with regards to our natural resources. The changing climate is severely affecting our ability to maintain naturally in certain places – areas once abundant with fresh water flowing freely, have now been reduced to lifeless plains, for example. Believe it or not, recycling can play a big role in slowing this down. Below are a few points to show that recycling is, indeed, a valuable process.

1) Nearly all “waste” can still be reused

If you think of the mountains of rubbish that accumulate in the landfills, you could be forgiven for thinking that they have no further use, but you’d be wrong. In fact, much of what ends up in landfill can be reused, or be used as an energy source. Waste material that biodegrades gives off harmful greenhouse gases such as methane, which itself is a source of energy. If this waste was to be recycled effectively, we would be able to generate energy from it, instead of leaving it to rot without purpose in landfill.

Again, going back to our earlier point about electronics having more gold than the equivalent amount of gold ore, much of these electronics end up in the landfill, polluting the earth, when they are full of valuable materials needed to manufacture new products.

2) It can create a whole new economy

Just as we have mining and other extraction processes for raw materials, the same can be said for recycling. There are constantly new electronic products appearing, and old ones becoming obsolete, and it therefore requires new businesses to recover the valuable materials from these to be reused. There is absolutely potential in industrial waste recycling to value, as we have seen from recycling companies who do this on a large scale.

3) It instills good habits

Recycling does take organisation and discipline, which over time form good habits. By being mindful of what materials you actually use and how you segregate them and use them, the whole process not only benefits the planet, but also yourself as a person. Whether or not you believe in the benefits of this process is another matter, however the good habits that you will pick up have a bigger effect.