Effects Of Recycling Essay
Effects Of Recycling
Considering the effect of scientific and technological inventions, the concept of waste to wealth is an environmental issue.
1. Climate Change
When processing the original (virgin) material, the amount of energy expended in their extraction as well as transportation usually involve burning fuels which sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Although production of goods through recycling requires use of energy as well, the amount required is much less than what would be required for extracting, manufacturing and transporting the original materials. Also, to a large extent, the process of waste to wealth reduces the production of large quantities of greenhouse gases emitted from incinerators and landfills. Waste-to- wealth project through recycling also soaks up carbon dioxide from the air as it slows down the rate of deforestation which serves as carbon sink.
2. Water Pollution
Recycling reduces water pollution in many ways. Many harmful waste and chemicals are dumped in bodies of water because we produce a lot of trash. Recycling reduces this trash. Our dumping of this trash in the ocean affect many aquatic animals. About three hundred billion pounds of plastic is produced altogether in the world, and only a small portion is recycled, while most of the remaining are dumped in the ocean. Imagine that! Some of the harmful chemicals in our garbage from landfills could seep into the ground, and sooner or later get to the ocean and other water bodies not forgetting our groundwater. This pollutes water. By recycling we produce less andreduce the amount of garbage produce and chemicals dumped in our water bodies. With recycling there isn’t the need to make new products. This means that the energy required to make these products is conserved. This energy is generated from coal-fired powers stations and there, sulphur dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. Sulphur dioxide combines with water in the atmosphere to produce sulphuric acid which condenses to the ground in form of acid rain and lowers the water pH.
3. Air Pollution
With recycling, less amount of fossil fuel is required to produce and therefore, less greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere. It also reduces amount of emissions from incinerators as well as slows down the tree-felling process. With photosynthesis, the trees absorb the carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere.
In some cases however, recycling may be the source of air pollution as seen in Houston in 2013 where the metal recycling project was seen to be releasing smoke as well as cancer-causing chemicals into nearby neighbourhood. Also the welding as well as cutting processes of the metal was releasing metal compounds in the air which is not good for the people inhaling it as it is poisonous when combined in the blood. So, sometimes, recycling can cause more air pollution.
4. Soil Pollution.
Soil pollution is a form of land pollution, where the upper layer of the soil is damaged. The excessive use of chemical fertilizers, soil erosion caused by running water and other pest control measures leads to loss of fertile land for agriculture, plants for forest cover and also fodder patches for grazing. With recycling, there is less waste put in landfills. Landfills are bad because there is usually a very high concentration of materials which are not biodegradable and these cause toxic chemicals to slowly leach into the soil around. However, compositing of biodegradable material such as leaves and food waste enrich the soil as they introduce carbon, nitrogeb and other inorganic compounds that are good for some soil-resident organisms and also reduces the need for artificial fertilizers. On the downside, paper recycling is very expensive and the process of bleaching is greatly practiced in this process in order to make the recycled paper as bright as original papers. The process of bleaching uses harmful chemicals which defeats the aim of recycling
Recycling affects the environment in many ways, both positive and negative. Each one of us can have an impact on improving the environment and making a conscious effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to have a positive effect on the environment
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