Is Recycling Worth It?

Does recycling have any benefits? While some critics have argued that recycling isn’t the right path, mother nature has indeed benefitted from this noble cause. In this article, we have shared five reasons why the proponents of recycling, for example, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) champion recycling.

Environmental Conservation

You will agree with me that the world is no longer the same as it was two hundred years ago. Human activity has taken a toll on mother nature, and from the look of things, we are headed the wrong way. We are currently depleting natural resources, especially through manufacturing. But with recycling, the world can now cut down on the exploitation of natural resources.

A good example is the manufacture of plastics, which leaves the atmosphere polluted, and plastic waste filling our oceans. Studies suggest that in 2050, the number of plastics in the oceans will exceed that of fish. On the other hand, recycling steel cuts down energy consumption by up to 74% and reduces emissions. That is enough reason to recycle steel.

Economic Security

With trade wars and sanctions looming, recycling can help countries and regions in enhancing their economic security, especially when it comes to sourcing raw materials. With the right recycling policies, it’s possible to cut the reliance on raw material imports.

The UK government has led by example and today, the UK exports over half a million tons of plastic to other countries. This has been a strategic way of managing the plastic problem in the UK, and also, it’s a foreign exchange earner. Also, The Navigation Acts, as well as the recent Japan vs China trade war, attest to the importance of self-reliance when it comes to crucial raw material imports.

Job Creation

Today, the recycling industry is huge, as companies are finding a profit in recycling old stuff and turning it into finished products. In turn, this has contributed to the growth of jobs in different industries. Recycling has also proved to be a great self-employment idea for many, and there are some truly inspiring stories.

Veolia UK, FCC Environment, Suez Environment UK and Bigga Group are among the biggest recycling companies in the UK. We also have stories of entrepreneurs who have made a fortune from trash.


Indeed, recycling is a worthy cause that should be embraced by the entire human population. Let’s think of the damage we are causing with plastics, chemicals, emissions, and deforestation. Research shows that in the last 25 years, we have already depleted 10% of the remaining wilderness, and there will be none left for our future generation. Embracing recycling, at a personal, domestic and industrial level is something everyone should work towards.

What is Recycling?

Recycling is the repurposing of waste material into meaningful purpose instead of sending it to landfills as waste or to incinerators. Recycling is a noble cause that helps to conserve the environment in many ways, and above all, it is cost-efficient. This is regardless of whether you are recycling at a personal/domestic level, or it is large scale recycling.

Save for the DIY recycling projects, recycling on an industrial scale has to meet three thresholds. These are the three stages of recycling, as discussed below.


Unless you are recycling a single item, the first stage in large scale recycling is the collection and processing stage. Here, the material waste is collected from the community using kerbside collections, junk collection services, and dedicated drop off centres. After that, the materials are sorted depending on the type of project at hand. Once the amount of waste is enough, it is moved to the respective plants ready for manufacturing.

Grading and Manufacturing

The waste material is taken to the respective recycling plants where it is graded and prepared for recycling. The recycling process varies depending on what is being recycled. But the idea is to use as little resources as possible to come up with entirely new products. It’s imperative to note that in today’s world, a lot of products are manufactured from recycled waste, and these include newspapers, steel products, plastic, and so on.

Sale of Recycled Products

The goal of recycling is to come up with final recycled material products for sale. Here, it is important to note that recycled products take different forms. There are products made from 100% recycled materials. In contrast, others are just parts of an entire product, or the products are partly made from recycled material. When shopping, it’s a great idea to buy recycled products to be part of the change.

Recycling is an efficient and cost-effective waste management method. But then there have been criticisms regarding the energy used in material flow and remanufacturing, as well as the poor working conditions witnessed in most recycling plants. But at the end of the day, the benefits outweigh the shortcomings of the process. Without recycling, the plastic problem will explode, our emissions will increase, and worse still, we will deplete our resources.

Three Recyclable Household Items

Recycling is a sustainable way of conserving the environment, and the good thing is, everyone can be part of this noble cause. In this article, we have shared three household items that you should consider recycling.


All households have plastics, from the soft drink bottles and plastic containers to polythene bags that are used to pack foodstuffs, among other items. Instead of disposing of them together with your organic garbage, consider putting them in a separate bin and sending them to a recycling centre. You can also label them as recyclable plastics to help the garbage collectors sort them.

Paper Products

Another category of recyclable household items is paper products, and these include junk mail and cards, old books, shredded paper, cardboard boxes, and milk and juice cartons, among others. Paper products are easily recyclable and separating them from the other garbage can go a long way in reducing the amount of waste we send to landfills and incinerators.

Old Electronics and Appliances

Many are times we have old electronics and appliances that we want to dispose of. Data from Statista shows that eWaste is increasingly becoming a problem. Today, electronic waste is the “fastest-growing waste stream in the world”, and the worst thing is that these items can’t decompose and also contain harmful chemicals. That said, it’s important to discard all the eWaste from your home responsibly; call a recycling centre, and they will come for all your eWaste.

There you have it folks, three household items that can be recycled. The idea here is to ensure that what can be recycled doesn’t end up in the landfills and incinerators. In the landfills, most of this garbage will not decompose while in the incinerators, they will only multiply the emissions.

Mandatory Composting Law in San Francisco

There are many successful recycling projects started by governments and even individuals. In today’s feature, we focus on San Francisco and mandatory composting.

Did you know that in San Francisco, it is an offence not to have a composting arrangement in your property? This is according to a new law that requires residents to recycle all organic waste. Residents turn food waste and all other organic garbage to valuable compost.

Over a short period, mandatory composting in San Francisco has been a success and today, the state is diverting 72% of the trash that would have otherwise gone to the landfills and incinerators. The authorities say that if all the organic waste is recycled, the state will achieve a 90% recycling rate.

Several other states are looking to adopt such laws and Vermont could be the next to have mandatory composting requirements.

In the UK, there are no laws on recycling. Still, the government and other institutions advocate recycling, and there are elaborate plans to control the amount of waste disposal. But then, not everything can be recycled, and it’s actually illegal to recycle something that is not recyclable.

Pepsi Reverse Vending Booth Pays You to Recycle

In this recycling success feature, we look at Pepsi’s new idea to encourage recycling by buying back their used cans and bottles.

While the traditional vending booths require money to offer the beverages, there’s a new one that buys back the empties. Dubbed ‘The Dream Machine’ this is a brilliant idea implemented in New York. Pepsi sponsors it in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful and Waste Management.

The system is basically a GreenOps computerised booth that has been designed to scan the barcodes of empty aluminium cans and PET plastic bottles. After that, it awards depositors points which can be redeemed for prizes on the Greenopolis website or at the host’s venues.

Since their introduction over a decade ago, ‘The Dream Machines’ have recycled millions of plastic bottles and metal cans which would have otherwise ended up in the landfills, or the ocean.

The Pepsi Reverse Vending Booth is a great way to ensure we reduce plastic pollution as well as the exploitation of our natural resources. If adopted by other beverage companies, we could at least minimise the impact of pollution on mother nature.