Recycling is reusing some components of the waste that may have some economic value. Recycling has readily visible benefits like conserving resources, reducing energy used during manufacture, and reducing pollution levels. Some materials, such as aluminum and steel, can be recycled many times. Metal, paper, Glass and plastics are recyclable. Paper recycling can also help preserve forests, as it takes about 17 trees to make one ton of paper. Crushed glass (cullet) reduces the energy required to manufacture new glass by 50%. However, even if recycling is a viable alternative, it presents several problems.

The problems associated with recycling are either technical or economical.

  1. Plastics are difficult to recycle because of the different types of polymer resins used in their production. Hence different plastics can’t be recycled together.
  2. In recycled paper, fibres are weakened and difficult to control the colour of the recycled product. Hence, recycled paper is banned for used in food containers to prevent the possibility of contamination.
  3. The cost of recycled paper is more expensive than normal paper because of the processing it undergoes.
  4. It costs more to transport scrap paper than raw paper pulp. Processes of pulping, de-linking and screening wastepaper are more expensive than making paper from virgin wood.

Last modified: Tuesday, 3 January 2012, 5:53 AM