Recycling is refers to the process of becoming more conscious of what we throw away that could be harmful to the environment. This many of the things that are not able to decay naturally can be reprocessed into other materials. This helps to prevent potentially harmful materials from being placed in landfills. It also reduces the processing needed to produce more raw materials, thus reducing air pollution, energy consumption and the amount of greenhouse gases that escape into the air.
Recycling can be done both at home and at the office. Many of the materials that were once used and thrown in the trash are now recycled – glass bottles, tin cans, newspapers, textiles and plastics. Keeping household waste, such as vegetable peels and using them for garden compost is not considered recycling.
During early times, recycling was done as a matter of survival, such as pickling up pieces of scrap metal in Industrial England. During the wars, people were forced to recycle because resources were scarce and often food was rationed. Rising energy costs in the 1970’s forced people and governments to take a look at ways they could save money by recycling materials that could be used over and over.
In many cities around the world, households are once again being forced to recycle because of a lack of space for landfills. Homeowners use different coloured boxes for different kinds of trash, Paper goes in one, normal household waste in another, paper in another and so on. Large trucks collect the various boxes and take them to recycling depots or to the landfill as appropriate. In most places a fee is added to the cost of soda pop and when consumers return them to a recycling depot they receive a portion of this fee in return.
Many different materials can be recycled. In the road construction industry, for example, at one time a company would simply dig out more rock to make asphalt. Now the old asphalt is torn up and put through a crusher that uses it to make new asphalt. Batteries can be recycled but first they have to be sorted into the various kinds. Printer and copier ink cartridges can be refilled, thus cutting down on the amount of waste that finds its way into the garbage.