There has been a rapid economic growth in recent years. With the increase in the development of the country, the people have started to earn more through which they have created a larger consumer base. According to analytics, India produces approximately 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, which is expected to reach 165 million tonnes by 2030 and 450 million tonnes by 2045. According to the CPCB report in 2014-15, only 27 percent was treated and rest waste is disposed at dumpsites.
A recent study indicates that India will need a landfill of 88 sq. Km. which is nearly to the size of Bengaluru, to dump all its waste. As the waste is expected to increase, recycling offers a viable and sustainable domestic. There are many organizations like Clean India Ventures which have contributed much to the environment through their path-breaking technologies.
The 3R initiative aims to promote reduce, reuse and recycle strategy globally so as to build a sound-material-cycle through effective use of resources and materials. Today, we have chosen Recycling as the main element that can contribute to the process of organic waste management:
Following are the benefits of Recycling in Preserving the Environment:
Recycling conserves natural resources-
Manufacturing of new products requires the use of untouched natural resources i.e., renewable wood and non-renewable fossil fuels or metal ore. The world’s natural resources are limited and cannot be renewed. Following things can be recycled:
Recycling Paper and Wood saves trees and forests because you can’t replace virgin rainforests or ancient woodlands once they are lost. 1 Ton of recycled office paper saves 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water and 463 gallons of oil
Recycling Plastic means creating less new plastic because it is usually made from fossil fuels hydrocarbons. One ton of recycled plastic saves 16.3 barrels of oil.
Recycling Metals means to produce less need for risky, expensive and damaging mining and extraction of new metal ores.
Recycling Glass reduces the need to use new raw materials like sand to make glass.
Recycling Saves Energy
Manufacturing products require less energy from recycled materials require less energy than making them from new materials. Example:
Manufacturing products from recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy than producing it from scratch. Recycled paper from pulped recycled paper uses 40% less energy than making it from virgin wood fibres.
Manufacturing glass from recycled glass consumes 10-15% less energy compared to manufacturing it from scratch, as producing glass requires a lot of heat and energy.
Recycling Reduces Pollution
Dumping waste in landfills leads to the start of emitting greenhouse gases on rotting. The greenhouse gases pollute the environment and attract insects, flies, and bugs. On recycling the waste, one can contribute to reducing waste pollution instead of sending it to landfills. Recycling leads to fewer carbon emissions, reducing carbon footprints.
Recycling Reduces Incineration
Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the burning of mixed organic waste which can be reused or recycled contained in waste materials. The process generates carbon emissions which contribute more to climate change and air pollution. Recycling of organic substances leads to the use of natural resources again. Some of the incinerators with energy recovery systems generate steam that can be used either directly in municipal heating systems or to rotate turbines to generate electricity.
Recycling Saves Landfill Space
Waste disposed in landfills causes many environmental problems for present and future generations. All the waste is not biodegradable but the waste that takes a long time to decompose will cause environmental problems as it can emit greenhouses gases that are harmful to the environment and people living and working around landfills. Choosing to recycle some of the products helps in preserving the environment.
Wastes from industrial, municipal, agricultural and other processes contain scrap materials like ferrous metal, non-ferrous metals plastics and glass. The rates of recycling in India are dropping majorly. There are many reasons such as:
A) No strong social awareness
B) Unorganised waste collection and segregation mechanism
C) No updated infrastructure in terms of collection, transportation and maximizing recovery.
There are many other benefits of handling waste efficiently but it requires the involvement of everyone from kids to adults to better the environment for future generations. Some of the waste management companies in Delhi are doing their greater good by developing technologies that could help in efficient food waste management in India.