Why Should We Recycle?



Did you know that recycling has multiple benefits for our planet? Recycling reduces the waste sent to landfills and incinerators. It saves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals, which also saves energy. Recycling also reduces pollution. Recycling should be mandatory in the U.S. 

Recycling reduces the waste. Every year, in the U.S alone, 139.6 tons of waste are sent to landfills. One person makes about 1,642 pounds of waste a year and a family makes about 6,570 pounds of waste a year. Incinerators burn the waste into hot gas and ash, reducing its volume by 90% and its weight by 30% (“Curbing America’s Trash Problem”, 2020). The heat is used to heat water and produce steam. The water’s steam turns a steam turbine and produces power “Burning Waste to Energy”. We produce so much waste. If we just take that extra minute to throw a can into a recycling bin we are helping to reduce waste. Reducing waste also reduces pollution and saves energy. 

Recycling saves our natural resources. Using recycled materials to make new products requires less energy than making products from trees, fossil fuels, or metal ores. This means that when we recycle, we use fewer fossil fuels including oil, natural gas, and coal (Resource Conservation,nd). It saves our natural resources for future generations and saving natural resources for the future is important because we aren’t going to have them forever, so we can at least help save some of them for future use. 

Recycling reduces pollution. Recycling can reduce both air and water pollution. Recycling reduces mining and drilling, which produce air and water pollution. By saving energy, recycling reduces the air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil, which contributes to the largest amount of energy generated (Reducing Polluntion, nd). Recycling makes a small change in reducing pollution but over time, if we’re consistent with recycling, it could make a big change in the world. Reducing water pollution is important because we don’t want to drink polluted or impure water and reducing air pollution is important because we don’t want to inhale toxins and chemicals.

However, Recycling isn’t always cost-effective, recycling sites are often unhygienic, unsafe, and unsightly, recycled products may not be durable, and recycling also results in pollution.  Although recycling does have disadvantages almost everything does. Recycling has more advantages than disadvantages. Everyone should be required to recycle to reduce pollution, reduce waste, and save our natural resources. Take that extra second to throw a soda can into a recycling bin, it may not look like much but it’ll help the world.