Before developing a strategy for implementing 3R practices, municipal authorities must answer the following questions:
Who are the recyclers?
What are the advantages of recycling solid waste?
What is being recycled?
What is not being recycled and why?
What are the main challenges?
What steps are necessary to improve the recycling and resource recovery of materials?
Ideally, the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) concept will be applied as early as possible in the waste generation and management chain so that managers of waste can:
Maintain the high material quality and value of recyclable waste materials
Reduce the loss of valuable natural resources and virgin raw materials
Limit pollution of land
Reduce long-distance transport of waste
Reduce landfill space requirements and environmental pollution
Minimize the costs of both production of goods and management of waste.
Almost every material can be recycled; however, the value of the recycled material can vary significantly depending on the demand and uses for it.
Indeed the value of a material is the driving factor for private recycling initiatives or—in the case of many developing countries—the informal sector.
If and how a material is recycled depends not only on local policies but also on the availability of a buyer, processing facilities, and a transport chain.
Most of the garbage generated in the household can be recycled and reused. Organic kitchen waste such as leftover foodstuff, vegetable peels, and spoilt or dried fruits and vegetables can be recycled by putting them in the compost pits that have been dug in the garden.
Read Also : Meaning and Steps Involved in Waste Recycling
Table: Recyclable Household Wastes
Old newspapers, magazines and bottles can be sold to the waste vendor the man who buys these items from homes. In your own homes you can contribute to waste reduction and the recycling and reuse of certain items. Table below shows some household wastes that can be recycled or reused.
|Old copies, Old books Paper bags, Newspapers Old greeting cards Cardboard box|
|Containers, Bottles Bags, Sheets|
Glass and Ceramics
|Bottles, Plates Cups,Bowls|
|Old cans,Utensils Clothes,Furniture|
Fig: Waste Recycling
The table below gives an overview of typical recycling materials and their potential treatment options.
Table: Important Recycling Materials: Advantages and Drawbacks
|Aluminum||Aluminum has high market value It can be easily recycled by shredding and melting It can be recycled indefinitely because it does not deteriorate from reprocessing Aluminum recycling requires significantly less energy than producing aluminum from ore.||Separate collection is important Recycling is suitable only if a processing plant is available.|
|Batteries||Recycling recovers valuable metals Recycling protects the environment from heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury.||Large variation in type and size of batteries requires specific recycling processes. Older batteries have high heavy metal content.|
|Concrete and demolition waste||Demolition waste can be crushed to gravel and be reused in road construction and landscaping||Machinery required for Crushing is maintenance intensive. Recycled waste is valuable only if there is a lack of other construction material.|
|Glass||Glass has a moderate market value It can be sorted into colours and melted Use of recycled glass saves||Broken glass can contaminate and eliminate opportunities for recycling.|