Waste Management as a Profitable Green Initiative

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Erich Lawson
August 10, 2013 at 8:22 am

A news channel once revealed that if the whole world contributed to waste as much as the United States of America did, then the Earth would perish in three years. As the reality of these harsh statements hit us brutally in the form of the Arctic ice melts, frequent natural disasters, and the rising pollution and pollution related diseases, environmental consciousness is increasing amongst individuals, governments, and the various international bodies addressing environmental issues, with innovative new measures being drafted for environment conservation. Many of these measures are simple living practices that can be inculcated in our daily lives to do our bit for Mother Earth and the future life.

 

Besides the obvious long term benefits of these measures, there are many short term benefits such as receiving tax benefits for green initiatives within the house, cutting costs and also reducing wastage. The most beneficial use one can put waste to is converting it into a renewable energy source through recycling. For instance, aluminum cans that are used for guzzling colas and beers can be recycled and used within 60 days of disposing them, making them reusable and one of the most sustainable packaging material.

 

Recycling

The US Environmental protection Agency defines recycling as, “the process of collecting ad processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products”. Through this appropriate definition, they have offered very interesting statistics, which show that 53.6% of the waste is landfilled while 34.7% is recycled or composted and a mere 11.7% is used as a combustion for energy.

 

How We Recycle

The recycling process can be summed up in three steps:

  • Collection and processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Purchasing new products made from recycled material

In the collection and processing phase, we first segregate our waste as dry waste and wet waste. The wet waste, which generally includes food stuff, weeds and other green and brown stuff from the garden, can be used to prepare compost for natural fertilizers. The dry waste will include paper, plastic, aluminium cans, cardboard boxes, glass bottles, and jars etc. The wet waste is all placed in a brown bin and the dry waste in a green bin. The waste from the green bin is collected and carried to a recovery facility to be sorted, cleaned, and processed into raw material for manufacturing. Recyclable materials can be bought and sold as raw materials, which is a good way to earn some extra income. The prices for these rise up or fall based on the demand and supply in the USA and worldwide. You can always use all the material you have thrown out as waste if you are creative enough.

 

Benefits of Recycling

The benefits of recycling include:

  • Reduces cost of maintaining landfills and using incinerators
  • Conserves natural resources by reuse
  • Prevents pollution caused by improper waste management
  • Saves energy and reuses waste to produce more energy
  • Helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cutting down carbon footprints
  • Cuts costs for procuring new raw material for companies

 

As members of this planet, we are responsible for sustaining life and conserving and using wisely all the things nature has bestowed upon us. Technology is booming to make our life more fast paced and convenient, and some of these technical expertise can be used towards the conservation of natural resources for the future generations.

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