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Recycling Made Simple Essay

1892 words - 8 pages

Recycling, such a simple concept of making new from old, and yet most Americans don’t seem to grasp the concept. Why is this you ask? That is what I am going to find out. Recycle, the name itself nearly tells all. To recycle is to take old and make new from the old material. Glass, metal, and plastic can all be recycled by being melted down and remolded into something new. Paper can also be recycled, only the process is a bit different. When industries recycle paper they start by taking the old paper and mashing it into a pulp. The process is very similar to how they make new paper from wood; the biggest difference is the amount of bleach used. One of the biggest set backs for the recycling industry is the fact that not enough people utilize it as much as they should. How could we work to change this? Let us talk a little bit about the pros and cons of recycling.

Recycling can cause a surplus amount of what was once garbage to become something much more. If you were to go to your nearest landfill and look around at the piles of garbage, you could probably spot a few recyclables. Perhaps more than a few, maybe most of it is recyclable. Now imagine if the entire landfill was made up of mostly recyclable byproducts and what would happen if you recycled all of it. The once pile of garbage could be a park, forest, or even a wild life reserve. Those are only the physical benefits; some think that there would be financial benefits if everyone recycled as well.

In many cases, it is cheaper to reuse than to make new. Paper, for example, can be recycled in almost the exact same process that is used to make new. It costs more to buy new timber and process it, than it does the reprocess paper. This could possibly be true for more products that can be recycled. This would, in theory, cause a positive impact on the market, because when a product costs less to manufacture the price goes down.

The Waste Hierarchy, also know as the three R’s, is a plan often referenced to in the context of recycling. Reduce, reuse, and recycle, “The 3Rs are meant to be a hierarchy, in order of importance.”(Wikipedia). This plan has become the base of the EPA’s push to have recycling taken seriously for the past decade. The first, and most important ‘R’, is reduce. It is important to reduce the amount of byproducts that leave your home because it helps cut down on pollution caused by reprocessing the recyclable materials. The next ‘R’ is reuse. Things such as glass bottles can be washed out and reused in their current state. Thus it would be a waste to put a perfectly good glass bottle into a recycling bin. For recyclable byproducts that cannot be reused unless they are reprocessed, it is important to recycle. The next of the three R’s. Some byproducts can be recycled and used for an entirely different purpose.

“Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, value-added materials. Rendering can refer to any processing of animal byproducts into...

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