is a process of converting the used materials (scrap) into new products in order to:
- Prevent the waste of these potentially useful materials
- Reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials
- Reduce energy usage
- Reduce air pollution (from incineration)
- Reduce water pollution (from land filling)
All this is done by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal and lower the greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce
" waste hierarchy.
The multi-billion dollar worldwide recycling industry performs various vital social and environmental functions. The industry has no peer in terms of conserving the world's resources while the various stages of the recycling process provide employment for millions of people all around the world.Using skills honed over many centuries, recyclers collect products that have reached the end of their useful lives and then transform them into highly valuable secondary raw materials that can be fed back into the manufacturing process. These secondary materials have to conform to critical specifications laid down by consumers, who include the world's leading steel makers, foundries and paper/board manufacturers. If it were not for the recycling industry's professionalism, expertise and large-scale investment, a substantial proportion of these end-of-life goods would be consigned to landfill and the valuable materials they contained would be lost to the production cycle forever. Furthermore, some potentially useful materials would become hazards rather than being retained as a resource. Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass
, and electronics
. Almost 40% of the world’s steel production is made from scrap.
Types of Waste
- Toxic waste: such as Paints, Chemicals, Spray cans etc
- Recyclable waste: such as Paper, Glass, Metals, Plastics, Rubber, Textiles etc
- Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) / Organic Waste: such as Kitchen waste, Vegetable waste, Flowers, Leaves, Fruits, Household waste, Construction and Demolition debris, Sanitation residue, waste from Streets etc
- Bio-Medical waste: such as Injections, Medicines, Body Parts, Cloth soiled with blood and other body fluids, etc