Waste recycling has some significant advantages. Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources and generates a host of environmental, financial, and social benefits.
It prevents the emission of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants. Recycling decreases the need to extract and process virgin material, which pollute air, soil and water with toxic material. It saves energy necessary to produce new materials.
It can save from 1.5 to 5 times more energy than is generated by incineration. In summary, waste recycling offers the following advantages:
For the Managers of Waste;
Reduction of waste volume
Cost savings in collection, transport, and disposal
Longer life span for landfills
Reduction of adverse environmental impacts.
For the Economy;
Reduction of imports (for fertilizers or soil amendments) and thus less foreign currency required
Job opportunities and income for the people
Cheap products (made from recycled materials) for the poor
Reduces the amount of energy required to manufacture new products.
For the Environment;
Sustainable use of resources: for example, less energy consumption and thus less pollution
Reduced amount of waste going to storage sites, resulting in a more manageable system
Reduces environmental impacts arising from waste treatment and disposal
Makes the surroundings cleaner and healthier.
Waste recycling and reuse are very closely associated terms which are often used interchangeably but are not essentially the same when viewed closely at its micro levels.
Whereas waste recycling describes the reprocessing of waste materials into new useful products of the same or varied type from the original waste, waste reuse is the application of waste materials to same or different use by a different user.
This is essentially very advantageous given that the term waste is a relative description of use of materials to satisfy human needs.
Commonly reused materials include clothing materials, jewelry and trinkets, kitchen utensils, household furniture, books and electronic equipment and to a larger extent motor vehicles and other heavy machinery.
Read Also : Strategies for Carrying out Waste Recycling
Waste reuse is very economical and a ready aid to the less ostentatious and the poor. However, it may pose serious environmental and health challenges as the disposal challenges are shifted to the less endowed who may not have the education and capacity to dispose the waste finally.