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A quick scan of the news or even outside the window during your daily commute will tell you that pollution is all around us. There may seem to be no way to escape the pollution, but that is simply not true. With combined efforts and various initiatives, we can all help curb pollution. One of the best and cost-effective ways to do so is through recycling.

What is Pollution?

According to the National Geographic Resource Library, pollution is the introduction of harmful materials or elements (called pollutants) into the environment. Pollution comes from natural-occurring events such as radioactivity from decomposition of soils and rocks, but also by human activity. From greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles to accumulated junk from the general population.

Three Major Types of Pollution

Air Pollution
Water Pollution
Land Pollution

Unfortunately, all three are part of a global problem, and it’s up to humans to work together to help address this problem before it’s too late.

“In 2018, about 146.1 million tons of MSW were landfilled. Food was the largest component at about 24 percent. Plastics accounted for over 18 percent, paper and paperboard made up about 12 percent, and rubber, leather and textiles comprised over 11 percent. Other materials accounted for less than 10 percent each.”

EPA

How Recycling Can Help Address Environmental Pollution

It helps conserve ecosystems and natural resources.

Recycling helps reduce the need for more raw materials. Recycled materials can replace raw materials in every part of the supply chain, most especially in manufacturing. The reduced need for new materials means minimal demand of tapping into the earth’s natural resources.

Recycling helps save energy.

Making raw materials requires energy. More energy (e.g., electricity) equals more carbon emissions, which is one of the major contributors to air pollution. Since recycled materials substitutes for raw materials, there will be less demand for those raw materials. This decrease in demand for raw materials can help conserve energy and effectively reduce carbon emissions.

It’s a better option than hoarding waste.

Recycling is always a better option than just accumulating waste and filling up landfills. Poor waste management also leads to more pollution. Waste from human activity such as manufacturing can add to water and land pollution. Recycling, reusing, and repurposing are great ways to help curb the growing waste problem.

It can help address the planet’s waste problem and improve people’s quality of life.

A World Bank study estimates that the world’s waste production could increase to 3.4 billion tons by 2050. A lot of this waste, approximately 40%, will go to landfills. And these landfills negatively affect the environment and people in various ways. If not managed properly, landfills are expected to account for up to 10% of GHG emissions by 2025. Landfills can also contaminate soil and water, further adding to the already alarming pollution levels.

It can help address the planet’s waste problem and improve people’s quality of life.

Who Needs to Adopt Recycling Methods?

The Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing sector needs raw materials to make products for end-users. The manufacturing sector can have a positive impact on pollution reduction by leading the effort to recycle what was once considered waste. Companies, big or small, can easily find what products they can recycle and repurpose to limit waste and energy consumption. For example, instead of requiring new aluminum for parts, bicycle part manufacturers can incorporate the use of recycled aluminum cans or repurpose old bicycle parts. Another example is clothing companies encouraging their customers to trade their fashion waste (i.e., clothes they don’t wear) in exchange for store credits or small discounts. These clothing companies then use these traded-in materials as new fabric for a more sustainable fashion industry. Repurposing of old clothes helps reduce water consumption, and the risk of toxic chemicals from dyes entering rivers.

The Logistics Industry

Aside from finding optimal trip routes to reduce carbon emissions from trucking services, the logistics industry can also incorporate recycling methods in their daily operations. Depending on the products that they’re packing and preparing for dispatch, logistics providers should use recycled paper or old packaging as fillers to ensure secured delivered products. Logistics providers can also switch to biodegradable packaging materials or reuse old ones to minimize land pollution. Since plastic and closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam (or blue board) are still widely used in almost all industries, logistics providers can recycle these materials as insulation and fill empty spaces in boxes.

The General Population

Pollution is a global problem. And while big companies play a major role in curbing pollution through organization-wide recycling methods, individuals also need to do their part. Every effort, no matter how small, can create a positive impact on the earth, especially if everyone puts in the time and energy to recycle. Recycling efforts in our daily lives can help minimize waste and ultimately reduce environmental pollution. For example, clean and dry empty jars, then use them as storage for pantry items. You get to save on buying new plastic containers while recycling what you would’ve once thrown away. If you’ve lived in a home for a long time and have accumulated a variety of items throughout the years, you can consider having a yard sale. Something that you may not find useful in your own daily life can be something someone has been looking for. Instead of buying something brand new at full price, they can find a pre-owned equivalent in your yard sale.

“The total MSW recycled was more than 69 million tons, with paper and paperboard accounting for approximately 67 percent of that amount. Metals comprised about 13 percent, while glass, plastic and wood made up between 4 and 5 percent.”

EPA

Seek Professional Help for Managing Your “Junk”

If you think you cannot manage your “junk” on your own, you can enlist the services of junk removal professionals who can pick up your unwanted items off your hands and recycle or repurpose them. Services like these can help you manage your accumulated items and put them to good use. Also, make sure you take other eco-friendly businesses into consideration on a regular basis, and check out what is recyclable or not recyclable in you home bins.

It’s easy to throw things away when they no longer serve their intended purpose. However, the growing problem of pollution requires both businesses and individuals to be more cautious about what they throw away and, more importantly, how they dispose of these items. Recycling requires extra steps that most people don’t do, but it can truly help protect our home planet from more pollution. Be heroes with us!

Editorial written by Myrtle Bautista for irepjunkremoval.com

For 2022 IREP Junk removal recycled an average of 258 tons and are recycling more every day
IREP Junk Removal