Benefits of Recycling
Recycling has been around for generations, sometimes in different forms, but still around. Earlier generations preserved food items, a unique form of reducing, or recycling (Blashfield and Black). Most people see recycling as throwing paper, plastic, glass, and other items into a blue bag then throwing it on the street for a local company to dispose of; however, others reduce and reuse items to recycle and make items last longer. Recycling has been proven to make a difference in many aspects of materials and energy. According to Nicky Scott, “The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will operate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.”
Recycling doesn’t have to be complicated and tedious; it can be easy and very beneficial. As society has grown and the impact of the economy has set in, recycling has become more popular.
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Many people are seeing the gracious financial, economical, and useful benefits of recycling and its components. Not only are individuals recycling, but businesses are too. “Greening the office will therefore have significant benefits environmentally and financially…as many other businesses have experienced” (Clift and Cuthbert 1). Businesses are realizing, as well as individuals, the positive effects of recycling.
The benefits of recycling are endless. Virtually anyone can accomplish the task and make a positive change while doing it. With so many items that can be reused or recycled, every person should recycle. According to Nicky Scott “thirty percent of America now recycles. ” Everyone in America should recycle because it helps the environment, benefits society as a whole, and is a cost effective choice. Recycling efforts have been proven to help the environment we live in. Reducing, reusing, and recycling truly help the environment and essentially preserve it.
Simple items such as composting help the environment. “Recycling and composting diverted nearly 70 million tons of material away from landfills…” (National Recycling Coalition). Another major component to the environment that benefits from recycling, or its sub-parts reducing and reusing, are the trees in the environment. Essentially, the more paper products people use, the more trees are needed to supply this habit. Supply and demand play a key role in waster and recycling. If one ton of paper is recycled, twelve trees can be saved.
Destruction of forests occurs whenmore paper is needed and trees are cut down, therefore, using less paper reduces this destruction. (Nicks J). The global environment also is positively effected by recycling, or reducing and reusing. Carbon emissions are put out everyday by coal mines, cars, houses, and other buildings. By reducing, a part of recycling, the usage of heat, or energy, can substantially help the environment. “Recycling benefits the air and water by creating a net reduction in ten major categories of air pollutant” (National Recycling Coalition). Many pollutants can be eliminated or diminished if everyone simply recycles or reduces.
Many people drink items out of an aluminum can. Aluminum is one of the easiest items to recycle, and it also takes 95 percent less energy to recycle aluminum than it is to produce it (National Recycling Coalition). This reduces the negative effect on the environment greatly. Main energy sources such as coal, methane, and oil will not last forever, maybe hundreds of years, but not forever. Recycling helps preserve sources of energy and other products for future generations and people (Bainbridge). The benefits of recycling on the environment are endless.
Simply math calculates that the benefits outweigh the negatives. For future and current generations to recycle is a must, the benefits prove that the environment is a major beneficiary of the efforts to recycle. After all, facts are facts, and recycling has been proven a fact to benefits the environment we all live in. Opposing viewpoints and other sources claim that by not recycling, the environment benefits more than if someone does recycle. Although there are many benefits to recycling, there also are some negative aspects, as with any situation.
Opposing viewpoint states, “Curbside recycling is substantially more costly and uses far more resources…This means more iron ore and coal mining, more steel and rubber manufacturing, more petroleum extracted and refined for fuel…” (Opposing Viewpoints 81). This negative effect to the environment is focused on the emissions put out and material used, not the natural environment. Recycling, in some cities although, can be somewhat costly and unorganized. Some people also claim that recycling can be harmful to the natural environment.
Recycling sites and places at landfills for recycling can become dirty and unhygienic if managed improperly. The chemicals the recycled material puts of can be harmful if not taken care of precisely. The rainwater also can mix with the material making an especially uncleanly environment, if not organized effectively (Nicks J). If recycling is not managed or organized properly, as with any program or organization, negative effects will occur. Minor oppositions and negatives are associated with recycling, but with anything in life, there are always a few resisting aspects.
The environment benefits greatly from recycling by reducing emissions, saving trees and destruction, and preserving wildlife that lives in the environment. Most recycling plants are managed by professionals and attain the highest level of organization; this diminishes many hazards that are caused by mismanaged material. Recycling and composting materials has been proven to benefit and nourishes the environment, not create hazards and risks (Kalenberg). Also, recycling programs cost less to run than landfills or other “dumping” organizations.
“Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, landfilling, and incineration” (National Recycling Coalition). These costs also indicate that fewer emissions are put out because many recycling centers are located where the everyday traveler is going, reducing the amount of time a car is running and creating emissions. Recycling also cuts down the need for more energy to be created, reducing emissions in the air and helping the environment. “Recycling used materials reduces energy requirements in many manufacturing processes such as refining and mining” (Nicks J).
By cutting down the destruction and emissions mines, plants, and factories cause, the environment is enhanced not hindered. Another reason why recycling is beneficial and not a hindrance to the environment is pollution. Everyday, in any situation, aluminum cans, plastic containers, and paper products are thrown, not into a garbage can, but out into the environment. People who litter cause many damaging effects to the environment. With recycling, this problem is diminished; there is no garbage lying around and the environment prospers.
Recycling is an enormous and outweighed benefit to the environment, not a restraint like Opposing Viewpoints and others claim it to be. Next, recycling is a must because it benefits society in many positive ways. Recycling has become more popular every year because of social and convenience benefits. More people of society are realizing the benefits of recycling. “The recycling business continues to expand at a faster rate as more and more people are emphasizing the need for eco-friendly surroundings” (Bainbridge). Another benefit to society is the “lead by example” teamwork aspect.
Many people lead byexample and come together for a certain cause. In many cities and towns across the United State, this cause is recycling. People come together, which is a great social benefit. “Any place you go—school, church, club, business—can become a place where you can get recycling activities started and get other people caring about the Earth” (Blashfield and Black 117). Recycling has been proven to bring members of a community together to support a cause, on of the most marked benefits of recycling. Many large cities also have gotten into the realm of recycling, realizing the benefits, but also leading by example.
“New York City leaders realized that a redesigned, efficient recycling system could actually save the city $20 million and they have now signed a 20-year recycling contract” (National Recycling Coalition). Recycling also is very easy to accomplish and virtually anyone can do it. Simply digging a hole and putting many garbage items in it, then covering it up with dirt provides an easy and beneficial compost site (Kalenberg). Recycling is so easy that many children can get involved. Children love to help; recycling also can be a game for children, putting certain items where they go.
“Children really like the idea of recycling (and composting)…” (Scott 35). Blue bins and bags also make recycling very easy. Most people can recognize a blue bag and put recyclable materials (represented by three arrows) into the bag, an idea that is simple and easy. Three key “R” words also make recycling simple. Reduce, reuse, and recycle combine to create the perfect and simple reminder for recycling. Many household and common products can be recycled in some way. Taking wire hangers to a second hand store or giving them to a steel center is a simple recycling fix (Scott 39).
Recycling has been proven to benefit different because it is very easy and provides many widespread social benefits. Opposing Viewpoints, however, claims that recycling is not beneficial to society in any aspect. Some sources say that a recycling program can be unorganized and confusing. Some social negatives towards recycling are also presented. “Despite the many thousands of curbside recycling programs…packaging waste still account for between 35 and 40 percent of the household waste…Americans don’t care enough about recycling, it seems…” (Opposing Viewpoints 42).
Socially Americans will not become environmentally conscious until all of our energy and consumable resources are used up, Opposing Viewpoints also claims. Some people find recycling confusing by sorting out certain materials, deciding what to recycle, and how to go about recycling. Opposing viewpoints adds, “Mandatory recycling programs aren’t good for posterity. They offer mainly short-term benefits to a few groups…Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America…” Skepticism is only represented when little evidence is to prove against recycling.
Other groups believe that certain types of recycling can also be complicated and tedious. “There are different kinds of plastic and one has to sort them systematically” (Nicks J). Different materials call for different types of action when recycling, considered a negative view to some. Very little penalties contribute to the effects of recycling on society as a whole. Minimal negative benefits are present to society; however, the positive benefits of recycling to a society outweigh the minimal negatives. “It seems” does not contemplate a fact or something solid when arguing a point, the first mistake on the Opposing Viewpoints side.
Also Nicky Scott states, “360 million plastic bottles were recycled in 2002. ” This shows how many people are taking advantage or recycling because it is very easy. The number shows that each day over 1 million bottles are recycled! Socially, it is important to take care of future generations; daughters, sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and so on are the future of America. For these generations to thrive and make the world better, resources are needed, and we need to start preserving them now. Americans and leaders are not waiting for energy sources to become fully used before recycling.
“Many cities now collect part of the trash for recycling” (Blashfield and Black 15). This shows how society is starting to influence government and cities to do what is right for society. Also, with more people recycling, the packaging waste would be cut down dramatically. Over 80 percent of all the plastic products we use end up in a landfill somewhere (Scott 68). Recycling plastic and reusing plastic cans cut this number dramatically and the need for processing anymore. Also, sorting through recycled material is very easy. Labels on the products (usually a three arrow diagram) explain how to recycle the item.
Most directions in recycling are simple and easy. When in drought, put an item with your already recycled material. “Remember the three Rs of 3RC. Reduce the waste you make. Reuse those items your can. Then, recycle everything possible” (Blashfield and Black 29). The claims that have been made against the benefits recycling can provide for society are merely statements, not facts. Recycling has been proven to help society in aspects ranging from convenience to social bonds. Attempts to nullify these benefits lack research and observation.
Recycling is also very economically smart because it costs less and provides more jobs. A conscious financial decision can be to recycle. From a multi-million dollar corporation, to a family in a small town, recycling has been proven to be financially beneficial. Companies are very smart and often set a trend for many Americans. “Thousands of U. S. companies have saved millions of dollars through their voluntary recycling programs. They wouldn’t recycle if it didn’t make economic sense” (National Recycling Coalition). Reusing items, reducing consumption of energy, and recycling old products save money, plain and simple.
Each time a product can be cut back or reused, is one less time more money has to be spent. Recycling also positively effects society by creating more jobs. Research and development can also benefit from recycling by creating fresh and new ideas. “It [recycling] stimulates the development of eco-friendly technologies…” (Bainbridge). Private sector jobs that are created almost every day to help research and conduct recycling programs along with other recycling-involved jobs create almost 1. 1 million careers in the United States (National Recycling Coalition).
This helps stimulate the economy and creates American jobs, which stay in America. Recycling and buying recycled materials also helps to cut down costs. If more items were recycled or made out of recycled material, the cost of a product would be dramatically reduced. “Roughly 30 cents of every dollar consumers spend on packaged goods goes towards paying for the packaging” (Scott 12). Recycling can be very cost effective to companies and families when accomplished correctly. Some companies and organizations can even increase productivity to become more competitive in a certain market by recycling, reusing, and reducing.
Companies in society can benefit from recycling and reducing. Overhead costs, energy costs, water bills, and other expenditures are cut down when recycling and reducing is involved; sales and productivity also are increased due to a good recycling reputation and cost minimization (Clift and Cuthbert 1-2). Also with the current economy recycling is beneficial. Reusing, a part of recycling, can be a very smart financial decision. If materials are reused and recycled, the need to purchase new items decreases. This is very beneficial in an economy that is recovering from a recession, and when budgets are tight.
“Recycling helps families save money, especially in communities with pay-as-you-throw programs” (National Recycling Coalition). Programs all over the United State are designed to make sense financially and economically. A simple task, such as using less paper towels for clean-up by using and recycling cloth rags, can be a conscious cost decision also. Opposing Viewpoints, however, claims that recycling is not beneficial to society in any aspect. Some sources say that a recycling program can be costly and not a financially sound decision for society.
Opposing Viewpoints states that in Ann Arbor, MI the cost of a recycling program is around 1,014,000 dollars, and with other costs associated the program costs over 400,000 dollars more than a typical garbage program (Opposing Viewpoints 103). Others also claim that certain types of recycling are costly and not economically smart for a program. “Paper recycling can be a bit costly, as additional industrial processes such as bleaching, are required to make the paper reusable” (Nicks J). Recycling programs have also been accused of being expensive to maintain and enforce.
Opposing viewpoints also claims that curbside recycling is 35 to 55 percent more than disposing of an item. They also state, “Using less of one resource usually means using more of another” (Opposing Viewpoints 81). This statement refers to recycling and the benefits of it. Some sources agree that recycling costs more than a generalized landfill, or garbage program. Others claim some of the items and products that are made of recycled products can be costly because some items cannot be used, even after being recycled. “There is no guarantee that the new recycled product obtained will be of good quality.
This is because recycling involves manufacturing products from used materials” (Nicks J). There is a slight risk that is associated with recycling and the products that come as a result of a recycling program. Overall, little evidence is presented on why recycling is not beneficial to the American society. Although mismanaged recycling programs can be costly, most recycling programs cost less than a traditional garbage system. Using words like “usually” often result in a lack of research and representation, concluding why the opponent used these words.
Opposing Viewpoint’s information for society was based on one city, Ann Arbor. This cannot speak for the entire nation; it is one cities bias towards recycling. The facts that benefit economically outweigh the opinions of the opponents. Society does benefit from recycling with regards to economic interests. Compared to the landfill industries, recycling is definitely more beneficial. “Recycling creates four jobs for every one job created in the waste management and disposal industries” (National Recycling Coalition). Creating jobs can be one of the most important blessings to society economically and socially.
According to Ross Bainbridge recycling is beneficial to society because it offers financial and social benefits such as cutting costs and increasing production for some businesses. Although, the opponent claims that recycling costs more than other programs, there is no support or statistics to support these findings. On the other hand research has been done to prove otherwise. “Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, landfilling, and incineration” (National Recycling Coalition). Many curbside programs cost no extra money at all.
The recycled items are placed beside garbage and are disposed of at the same time. Despite the faulty claims by opponents of recycling, organized recycling programs have been proven to be cost effective and economically comprehensive. Recycling programs are beneficial and continue to be. The benefits of recycling are endless. Many benefits offer no reason not to recycle. Every person should recycle because it helps the environment, is economically sound, and benefits society. With so many items that can be reused or recycled, every person should recycle.
Recycling also is very simple and easy to do. Even many children and teens are getting involved with the revolutionary process. According to Nicky Scott thirty percent of America now recycles. An increase that has happened in just a few years. Everyone should to recycle and help this figure grow until every American is recycling and witnessing the benefits of it. Everyone also should recycle because it benefits the natural environment, provides many positive effects on society as a whole, and is very cost effective.