Our planet Earth is considered a beautiful blue marble of the Solar system. All those photos from the space show it in its glory and take our breath away. It’s a pity that humans are bound to destroy everything they put their paws on, and yet, there are some who are desperately trying to preserve the beauty and us at the same time. At the same time, saving Earth, and by that, we mean humans, has become a trend, a popular hobby that can cause people to view you in a positive light.
Humans always tended to pollute their environment, leaving permanent marks wherever they go:
•Cave paintings – pretty graffiti
•Campsites – they can never be completely cleaned
•Feces – the rivers used to have them floating all around
•Litter – still a habit of many a person to simply throw their junk on the street
And much more, but the ones we are going to focus on are litter and industrial waste.
The topic isn’t pollution, the topic is the solution: reduce, reuse, recycle. Let’s talk about recycling!
What are the benefits of recycling?
3.No waste of resources
5.Greater environmental awareness
7.Less polluted food
Don’t you get Goosebumps while reading these? It’s like we are doing everything in our power to destroy ourselves. Anything we think of is a weapon or a poison. What sort of dual nature is moving us in this direction? Why can’t we live in harmony with nature? Luckily, we are becoming more and more environmentally aware and trying to find the solution to the mess we made. Some will say ¨Too late! ¨, yet we are still trying and fighting. People are desperate for a solution, though many think it is too late and that the age of humans is coming to its end. We always want things to instantly get better, but life doesn’t work that way? So, what can we do? Here comes recycling.
What are some of the materials we recycle?
This metal is crucial for our industry, technology wouldn’t be what it is today without it. A very light metal, it is used in all spheres of life. Driving huge amounts of it to landfills would not only take a lot of time and effort but also take up a lot of space. Recycling saves 95% of the energy needed for working the raw materials. While the new aluminum is made by electrolysis, out of Al2O3, the old can simply be melted and remade. The most recycled are aluminum beverage cans, which are made into guess what? Other aluminum beverage cans. It’s so efficient and disgusting at the same time. The things we put to our mouth! Another advantage of recycling aluminum is the reduction of CO2 and there’s less need for mining bauxite, which means saving money and environment, and less change to our beautiful planet’s landscape.
One of the greatest pollutants, everybody knows of plastic islands floating in the Ocean, especially the Great Pacific garbage patch. It takes a long time for the plastic to degrade, so the best solution, besides not using it, would be recycling it. It not only saves money and energy but reduces petrochemical pollution. There is a difficulty with plastic recycling: different types of plastic can’t be melted together, they separate. How to overcome this setback? Some people suggest special polymers, kinds of plastic stitches, which would enable different types of plastic to phase together. If we want to ignore the form, the perfect method would be heat compression. You can completely ignore what kind of plastic you use, anything goes. However, this raises the question of energy efficiency.
Wood has a variety of uses, but it is mostly associated with furniture. When making wood elements, a lot of mass is considered a waste. A piece of wood could be thrown away just because it is too thin, or too curvy. It might not seem like a big deal since wood is biomaterial, but it takes a lot of time for a tree to grow, and we shouldn’t waste any part of it. Today, there are machines that shred the unusable wood and then take these pieces, mix them with some chemicals and glue, and make good, durable wood elements. These elements are usually wood pallets. They have a variety of uses, you’ve probably seen desks, doors, even some walls made out of them. On the other hand, it uses poisonous chemicals and can’t always be made perfectly, causing it to be inadequate for use, waste material, and energy.
Recycling glass is not as efficient as other forms of recycling, but it is still worth it, as long as it is cheaper than making it completely new. Glass can be a problem, but there is a beautiful phenomenon of tiny pieces of glass getting smoothed by water and mixing with send, giving an illusion of beautiful, colorful beach rocks. But that’s nature’s work. As for us, the first thing we do with glass is crush it. It won’t be pure, it never is, so we have to purify it. There are lots of impurities that can get in the way of recycling glass: paper, stones, iron components, plastics, lead glass, and more. After we manage to purify glass, we can remake it into other products. Glass bottles are infinitely recyclable, so that makes for a great way to help our planet.
Repair if you can, donate if you don’t need it, or recycle. You can recycle your old clothes by repurposing them, turning them into cleaning rags or even using them as a building material, such as insulation. There are some great tutorials online, just type ¨repurpose old clothes¨, and you’ll get a plethora of answers. Different types of textile have to be separated before the recycling process. Besides the said methods of recycling, the textile can also be shredded into tiny fibers and remade into completely new products, such as rugs, or spun into material for knitting or weaving. It can even be used as furniture padding.
Beware! Old electronics are still dangerous! Never forget that in the process of making electronics, a lot of dangerous, poisonous materials are used. Not only is it costly to take them to the landfill, but they will even pollute the land, causing our food supply to become dangerous for consumption. Furthermore, it is dangerous for the workers handling these materials. Unfortunately, this is our reality. It is a bit more difficult to recycle electric waste, but there are companies that specialize in this. The truth is, most of this waste isn’t even recycled. It is dumped into developing countries so the big ones can have their rules fulfilled, while the developing countries still don’t have the laws regulating this kind of waste. It is common for those poisonous components to leak from landfills and dump yards, polluting the environment, especially the crops.
This all sounds simple enough, a few noble causes, a little bit of politics, but the fact is, when it comes to junk removal, you have to pay for it. You can’t just throw it in a nearby hedge or burn it behind your house; you pay for the professionals to do that. And, since you’re already paying, why not make sure that all that junk is used to the maximum?
The typical range of junk removal service is $140-$360. What does it mean?
Besides the regular trash removal, you can hire these professionals after a home cleanout or office clean out. The prices depend on the type of waste, trash, or junk you want to be removed. It’s funny how the removal of hazardous waste is the cheapest. Why is that the case? Probably because the same hazardous materials are more expensive on the market and the companies can sell them easily. Furthermore, if you want to get rid of some of your old appliances, like a washing machine or a dryer, you will have to pay at least $100. Isn’t that strange? Everybody’s telling you how you have to recycle, but how do they motivate you to do that? Now, here’s an interesting quote: ¨If you have recyclable trash, save yourself some money and see whether a free hauling company will pick it up.¨ That is already something we can work with. After all, the point is to save money and save the planet in the process.
We mentioned the range of prices for junk disposal, but how much do different categories cost?
The most prices are calculated by the volume of the trash. And we are talking about trash here. If you want junk disposal, you will probably have to go by the type. As I mentioned, hazardous materials are relatively cheap. Furniture – a bit more pricey. And appliances, they go up to $100.
So, how much does it cost to simply dump it at a landfill? Yes, you guessed right, it is cheaper. Meaning, I’m not recycling for the instant benefit, but out of goodness of my heart. And because of the stricter and stricter laws telling me I have to. Yes, we all want to save the planet and live the life where dolphins don’t die choking on plastic, but we also need to feed our families and take care of our immediate needs. This is not pessimistic, this is realistic. But it’s not yet the time to give up.