Can We Say “NO” To Recycling
Lately the earths capacity to tolerate exploitation and absorb solid wastes disposal has diminished, due to excess trashing. People dispose lots of stuff, and simply do not care. Therefore scientists found out a way to reuse things and that process was called “recycling”. This new approach seemed quite successful at the beginning, until its true identity appeared. Recycling first started as mans best friend, people were intrigued by this new phenomena.
What could be better than using things that were already used. Recycling has been very useful especially that man is constantly consuming, burning up, wearing out, replacing and disposing at an alarming rate.(Durning 1992). However, unfortunately recycling has proven that it is quite costly. Although recycling of wastes material solves the problem of garbage disposal at landfills, and saves resources, it does nevertheless entail large hidden costs in collecting, sorting and manufacturing; therefore, it is necessary for the go!
vernment to overcome such problems of recycling to be worth while and for manufacturers and consumers to consume less.
Recycling has proven its efficiency in solving the problem of garbage disposal at landfills1.
By the accumulation of garbage throughout the years, space available for garbage has largely diminished. In the states for example almost 67% of their waste stream ends up in landfills.(Scott 25). This has in fact increased the price of disposal. As Kimball stated “tipping fees” at landfills, is so often prohibitive(3), and some cannot find landfills to dump their garbage. It can cost up to $158 to pick a ton of garbage and dispose it.
(Consumer Reports 1994). Beside, these landfills pollute their surroundings area with lots of hazardous materials and contaminate underground water. To discover the contamination of the underground water it would be 12 yeas after the poisons-benzene; formaldehyde; mercury; and BCEE- have actually contaminated the land, and had sunk 24 feet into the ground contaminating about 50 million gallons of underground water.(Dahir 94). Besides these lands could b!
e used in more useful ways such as building schools, hospitals, or simply turning them into large green areas to purify the air. This problem is practically acute in Egypt, since we do find even in central areas of the city, piles of garbage disposal very near to residential areas.
Recycling would therefore eliminate this problem and protect the environment.
If we consider burning as an alternative, well it is not very advantageous, so often burning is done in incinerators. According to Plenum, incineration is the process of disposing of the “Combustible portion of the community wastes”(81). This burning pollutes the air in the area around it. It is not the way to solve the problem of recycling because it solving one problem by creating another which is air pollution. In this process a number of pollutants are emitted which poisons the air.
Carbon dioxide and lead are by products of burning that most health organisations consider highly toxicating. These by products affect children mentally and physically. In addition, carbon dioxide is considered one of the main reasons of global warming because the molecule itself captures heat an stores it in it thus creating the green house effect. Besides plastics are rather toxicating when burnt according to Plenum, Acrylic type plastics emit HCN gas, Bromine components that are added to pl!
astics results in the emission of HBr , which are all dangerous pollutants (157). Obviously burning cannot be considered an alternative and as stated in Consumer Reports, “Recycling does help to keep garbage out of landfills and incinerators, both of which pose environmental problems.”(Feb 1994).
Although burning lessens the physical amount of the waste materials, it is considered one of the easiest way to pollute the air.
Though these are great advantages to us and the environment, but recycling costs more than you could imagine. A study found that when the cost of garbage is calculated by volume, landfilling and recycling costs are roughly the same. Recycling does not appear to save any money, this applies to most of the European countries and the United States and studies have lately proven so. “Recycling is a good thing, but it costs money.”(Boerner and Chilton 7).
This view has been confirmed by John E. Jacobson, who is the president .