The earth, as we know it, is slowly becoming a landfill. Mountains of garbage are accumulating everywhere. Garbage is accumulating not only on land but in the ocean as well. If this continues the earth itself will become a giant landfill. The air will become greatly polluted as well as the water. These unhealthy habits must change. One healthy way to reduce the large amount of garbage on earth is to recycle. Although it may be easier to just throw a bottle or soda can into a trash, as many lazy Americans do, recycling those items can be very beneficial. What everyone knows but refuses to address is that recycling is a healthy habit, not just for us but for the world.
One reason that many people don’t recycle is because their neighborhoods don’t offer it. Many Americans would also rather just throw their recyclable items in the trash because they are too lazy to take it to a recycling bin. Recycling can create many jobs and in time improve the economy. Recycling can also save natural resources, save energy, reduce pollution and conserve landfill space. In order to save the earth, the world needs to recycle more. It should be mandatory that every community in the world has an area for recycles. Garbage companies could even hire people to go through garbage and pick out the recyclable items.
Saving natural resources is one of the many things recycling can accomplish. “Making products with recycled material slows the depletion of non-renewable resources such as metal, oil and natural gas, and reduces the encroachment of new mining and drilling operations” (Zody,2011). Salvaging metal from soda cans is one way of saving natural resources. The salvaged metal from the soda cans is melted down then eventually made back into a soda can. “Aluminum is a sustainable metal and can be recycled over and over again” (Cummings, 2007). Saving soda cans also reduces the amount of oil that the United States uses. “In 2003, 54 billion cans were recycled, saving the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels of crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day” (Cummings, 2007). By recycling soda cans, American saves millions of dollars on crude oil and natural gas. Salvaging soda cans also saves energy by reusing the aluminum instead of making a brand new can. Saving energy by recycling is helpful because it’s using less nuclear power.
Reusing is one of the many ways to save energy. “It generally takes less energy to make products with recycled materials than virgin materials, often significantly less” (Zody, 2011). This means when materials are recycled it is much easier to melt that item down and reuse it again rather than starting from scratch. Reusing items saves time and energy. Saving energy also cuts costs from foreign providers. “Benefits of reduced energy consumption include reduced costs and reduced dependence on foreign suppliers” (Zody, 2011). Reducing dependence on foreign suppliers means the United States can save money and energy. “By recycling about 30% of our waste every year, Americans save the equivalent of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline and reduce the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road” (National Recycling Coalition, 2005). Saving billions of gallons of gasoline and reducing greenhouse gases by recycling is not only helping by saving money for the American people but is also helping save the planet.
Not only can recycling save energy but it can also reduce the amount of pollution that pours into the atmosphere each year. “Using less energy means generating less water and air pollution–especially the greenhouse gases that cause global warming” (Zody, 2011). Greenhouse gases are some of the biggest pollutants in the world today. Most greenhouse gases come from landfills. “Garbage is a major contributor to global warming. Solid waste landfills are the single largest man-made source of methane gas in the United States. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is 23 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than the most prevalent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide” (Campaign for recycling, 2011).“When recycled materials are used in place of virgin materials during manufacturing, we avoid the environmental damage caused by mining for metals, drilling for petroleum, and harvesting trees” (National Recycling Coalition, 2005). By avoiding environmental damage caused by mining and greenhouse gases caused by landfills, the air will be cleaner as well as the water.
Conserving landfill space is another great benefit of recycling. It prevents landfills from expanding into huge mountains of garbage and also prevents garbage being dumped into the ocean. Recycling saves landfill space by keeping all recyclable items out of landfills. These items consist of almost anything such as plastics, metals and fibers. Putting these items into landfills can cause pollutants to enter the water table due to the run-off from the landfills. “Even though our landfills are considered sanitary, when the garbage starts to break down and degrade, toxic chemicals are released both into the air and into the ground. If rainwater seeps through the ground where these chemicals are, it will transport them to the ground water table and into our sources of drinking water” (Rohlin, 2011). Recycling helps lessen the amount of pollutants that seep into the water table each year.
One big that this country needs right now is jobs. “Recycling isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business” (Zody, 2011). By building recycling centers, people can be put back to work. Recycling creates jobs, people with jobs have money, and having money means an improved economy. “Regional studies of employment and the remanufacturing industry indicate that recycling activities employ more than 2.5% of manufacturing workers. Extrapolating these findings to the entire nation, recycling and remanufacturing activities could account for approximately 1 million manufacturing jobs and more than $100 billion in revenue” (Waste to Wealth, 2006). While recycling and remanufacturing activities account for 1 million jobs and over $100 billion in revenue, people are getting back to work and the economy improves. Recycling also creates new products. Recycled products can be made into almost anything ranging from shoes and handbags to carpeting and even counter-tops.
Recycling more is what the world needs to do in order to survive. A law should be passed to make it mandatory that there be a recycling center in each community in the united states. Theses recycling centers should be a part of the garbage company to make it easier to recycle. The garbage companies could employ people to go through the garbage and collect all the items that could possibly be recycled this way there is no way that recyclable items can get into landfills or the ocean. If these recycling centers were in each community the local economy would most certainly improve because of the job growth. Every community would be a happier and healthier place for everyone if these centers were built.
In the end, recycling is a win win situation for everyone. It saves natural resources like metals, oils and natural gas. It saves energy by reusing products like soda cans and plastic bags. Recycling even creates jobs and improves the economy. By recycling, the air becomes cleaner by lessening the amount of greenhouse gasses caused by all the chemicals released by landfills each year. The water becomes cleaner after recycling because it lessens the amount of chemicals in the run-off from landfills after it rains. All and all recycling isn’t just good for the economy; it’s good for the earth and should be done by all.