Disposal and recycling our waste is by far a serious problem of today’s modern environment. An increasing number of people in large cities make an enormous amount of waste every day. For years, we’ve been dumping toxic and solid waste into nature and not thinking about future consequences (“Why”). Landfill use for the dumping of waste is gradually fading away. It has become clear that disposal garbage in this way is not safe for our planet any more. It is also important that the recycling of construction waste is not only a concern for the environment, but it can also bring economical benefits to our society. Recycling allows us to transform regular garbage to agricultural fertilizer and other materials that we can use for good of our planet.
The conditions of the Earth will not remain the same in the future due to our ways of dealing with trash disposal. If people maintain the same approach to waste disposal, then our planet will face the catastrophe of global pollution and contamination. This will lead to massive dumps of household trash and commercial waste around the cities, poisons the air, rivers and oceans making water in them dangerous to people. Not only recycling is the way that can make our Earth green and beautiful, but in addition by recycling paper, glass, plastics, metals and other materials, becomes possible to save Earth’s valuable natural resources.
Today, the competitive environment in the “junk” business (processing, sorting and recycling) is quite favorable for investment. There are not as many recycling companies across the world, as we would like. The result is that there is lots of waste and not enough recycling stations, and we can only dream about a centralized system of sorting and processing of our garbage. From one kilogram of sorted plastic waste, we can make 0.8 kg of recycled polyethylene that can be used as secondary building materials (Sidorenko). According to experts, a single person produces 250 kg of household waste a year. If we take one household’s garbage bin we can split it by percentage of about 25% food scraps, 5-10%- paper, 50% polymers, with the rest falls being metal, textile, rubber, glass and other junk (Sidorenko). The classic way of waste disposal (container-garbage- dump-reclamation) today is ineffective and potentially dangerous for our environment. Since even well treated and backfilled with soil, dump stations are a source of “landfill gases, ” which are stimulating the greenhouse effect on our planet.
Inefficient implementation of natural resources causes their rapid depletion and, consequently, progressive pollution of the environment. Often toxic waste is dumped into nature causing severe consequences for our future generations; rising child sickness and mortality, reduced life expectancy, etc. (Shantarin). According to Greenpeace, one of most important problems that we have with the waste dumped in to the environment and not been recycled, is high concentration of dioxins in various food products, this substance can accumulate in food such as meat, milk, eggs, cheese, butter, fish and other edible products. Dioxins are found even in breast milk. Scientists proved that people who live or lived near landfill sites for more that 5-10 years have babies with serious birth defects that are extremely hard to treat or prevent.
The advanced countries and cities have high probability of air pollution. This air is bad enough to cause 50 thousand anticipatory deaths annually. It’s bad enough to destroy the whole ecosystem and make our planet uninhabited (Easterbrook). Now 1/3 of the Earth’s population lives in conditions of dangerous air contamination. It undoubtedly has an effect on people’s health; the human organism most intensively absorbs various chemical elements during breathing. Effects of these changes in the environment are especially harmful for human’s recreational future (Yushkova).
Unfortunately, in most cases nature protection activity does not yield high profits for big corporations; the only way is recycling, commercial waste can be utilized in production for two or even more times. For example, in Norway there was an aluminum production factory, originating their business in 1980’s. It threw many poisonous materials like lead dust, in the air, contaminating the atmosphere and environment. One year later, the management of this factory was compelled to use special dust catchers to reduce air contamination. By 1990, the factory became unprofitable and closed their business. Five years later, an American businessman bought the factory and started the new type of production, using the lead dust for making new type of high-strength aluminum plates, by recycling the lead dust and turning it to useful, profitable product (Politkovskaya).
Again, one of most effective ways to help our planet to “breath” is to reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials such as electronics, batteries and usual household waste. This type of products must be disposed properly, with the strict following federal and local recycling laws. Simply by recycling our waste, we become more responsible for our planet and environment. It is clear, when people have a responsibility for their own “home, ” which is our planet, they tend to give more attention of how they live and consume. For instance, people who recycle, instinctively cut down on buying unwanted things from supermarket. They think of how to dispose the packaging or the product after use, before even buying them. As a result, people end up saving a considerable amount of money.
Finally, the most important thing for our society is keep products of the first necessity, for instance water, as clean as possible. Water contamination is the most dangerous for everything that is alive; therefore, we must pay more attention of how we use it. Water can be recycled too. Sustaining water resources is an important part of protecting the environment. Recycling water enables communities to divert less water from local ecosystems, many of which may require a certain amount of water to survive. Boosting the natural water flow with an influx of recycled water may revive wetlands and other habitats that have been in danger. Recycling water for other uses rather than releasing it back into nature also helps protect ecosystems that need to maintain a delicate balance between freshwater and saltwater in order to survive (Slocum).
Water recycling reduces the amount of pollutants that enter natural bodies of wetlands. In some cases, water recycling may also help reduce the use synthetic fertilizers, as the contaminants removed during water processing sometimes turned into natural fertilizers or compost (Slocum).
In the end, recycling isn’t just about separating our waste into different bins, there is much more that we can be doing. We are literally living in a “throw away” world. There are constantly new and improved versions of products being developed, this year’s “next big thing” being marketed or the latest “must have” item hitting the shop shelves (Pullen).
In order to save our planet, a single person can make a difference by following the simple rules of proper recycling and disposing our waste. Nature will not be the same as it was thousands of years ego, just because humans have so much waste, nowadays most of it is toxic and radioactive and will take millions of years to decompose. By recycling, we can solve two major issues, environmental and economic. Population of our planet must take all possible steps toward the idea of “reduce, reuse and recycle, ” this would be the only solution to keep the Earth’s environment clean and usable for future generations. In many countries, there are no strict laws and regulations about recycling, but laws are the second importance, people have to understand that all of us have to take responsibility for our planet. We all have to make this important step into clean and healthy environment of the planet that we call our home. Please recycle!
A.Politkovskaya . Till Catastrophe? New Times.1994.№18/19.P.51-53. July 15 2011
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