Recycling involves the collection of used and discarded materials which are processed and turn into making new products. It reduces the amount of waste that is thrown into the community dustbins thereby making the environment cleaner and the air more fresh to breath.
From this definition recycling occurs in three phases: first the waste is sorted and recyclables collected, the recyclables are used to create raw materials. These raw materials are then used in the production of new products.
Serious attention has been shown by government and non-government agencies in the country on the need to recycle wastes having all recognized the importance of recycling wastes. However, the methodology for safe recycling of waste has not been standardized.
Currently, less than 7 %-15% of the waste is recycled in the country. If recycling is done in a proper manner, it will solve the problems of waste or garbage.
Steps Involved in Waste Recycling
The steps involved in the process prior to recycling include:
Collection of waste from doorsteps, commercial places etc.
Collection of waste from community dumps
Collection/picking up of waste from final disposal sites.
The sorting of recyclables may be done at the source (i.e. within the household or office) for selective collection by the municipality or to be dropped off by the waste producer at a recycling centres.
The pre-sorting at the source requires public participation which may not be forthcoming if there are no benefits to be derived. Also a system of selective collection by the government can be costly.
It would require more frequent circulation of trucks within a neighborhood or the importation of more vehicles to facilitate the collection.
Read Also : The Different Systems of Waste Reduction
The disadvantage however, is that the value of the recyclable materials is reduced since being mixed in and compacted with other garbage can have adverse effects on the quality of the recyclable material.
Another option is to mix the recyclables with the general waste stream for collection and then sorting and recovery of the recyclable materials can be performed by the municipality at a suitable site. The sorting by the municipality has the advantage of eliminating the dependence on the public and ensuring that the recycling does occur.