Benefits of recycling
The amount of aluminum and steel cans Americans use every day could cover the country’s needs for airplanes every three months. Although all metals are recyclable, most scrap metal is not recycled. Governments and environmentalists are promoting metal recycling, which has a multitude of economic and environmental benefits, but also has some drawbacks.
Non-iron metals, such as aluminum and steel cans, have some of the highest recycling rates. Statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (better known as EPA) show that 48.2% of aluminum cans are recycled, along with 62.8% of steel cans. Of the 250 million tons of waste entering the municipal waste stream, metals account for 21 million tons or 8.4%.
A few preventive steps can optimize the benefits of metals recycling while reducing the disadvantages. Clean any steel or aluminum cans before taking them to the recycling center; recycling plants usually pay more for dirt-free metal. Some recycling centers may ask that the metals be separated. If a magnet does not stick to a metal product, it is probably aluminum.
Benefits of reuse
The main benefits of reusing graywater include highly effective purification, less use of fresh water, less flow in treatment plants or septic tanks, which is a solution for those places where it is impossible to use another type of treatment, the possibility of planting plants where there is no other type of irrigation water, less use of chemicals and energy for treatment and pumping, and the recovery of nutrients that are lost.
As for the disadvantages, we can highlight that these reuse systems cannot be used in any place because the site where the process is developed must be sufficiently large and must meet a series of suitable climatic conditions. We must take into account that gray water is not as harmful to the environment or to health as black water from toilets. Greywater contains a lot of bacteria, organic matter and nutrients, so if it is not effectively treated before reuse, it can be dangerous to health, besides polluting the environment and having a bad odor.
If we reduce the amount of waste we create or recycle it into new uses, we not only send less waste to landfills, but we also use fewer resources and less energy. But if we don’t address this pressing problem, the planet, the animals and even ourselves could be seriously compromised.
The earth naturally recycles all its resources and reuses materials from dead plants and animals to feed new plants and create new fertile soils. Humanity should follow Mother Nature’s example and do no less than that: recycle as much as we can. If we do not practice recycling and do not make it part of our daily lives, these are the consequences of what could happen:
The first consequence of not recycling is increased pollution. There are many different types of pollution ranging from Styrofoam that carries the ocean and water bottles that coexist with marine wildlife, to corrosive chemicals that spill into the soil and render it inert. The air is also polluted every time cars emit carbon dioxide, every time toxic substances are burned, or a company releases chemical gases.
Disadvantages of recycling metals
Increasingly, there is talk of replacing plastic with other options. The truth is that this material has become a problem due to its massive use and the difficulty in recycling. For this reason, we talk about the possible alternatives to plastic, both traditional and more innovative.
In fact, plastic tends to have few alternatives in many cases, because it is difficult to find something with the same characteristics. For example, replacing plastic wrapping with paper wrapping would mean much more breakage and damage, and packaged foods would be exposed to dirt, etc.
It has always been used in packaging, especially for liquids, but not only that. From seeds to vegetables and cereals, glass has always been an alternative to plastic and we are increasingly returning to it.
However, not all biodegradable plastics are the same. Some have a very low capacity, some need between 3 and 6 months and some require special facilities for the process.