Waste Recycling

Recycling Symbol

Introduction - Definition

The term recycle means transforming used material objects (or material waste) into new consumer products. This need has been awakened by ordinary people and rulers from the moment the benefits that recycling has for our planet have been observed.

Importance and main benefits of waste recycling

Since the 1980s, the production of packaging and disposable products has grown significantly, as has the production of waste, especially in industrialized countries. Many governments and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are demanding responsible attitudes from industries. In this sense, economic development must be combined with preservation of the environment. Activities such as selective garbage collection and recycling of aluminum, plastic and paper are already commonplace in many cities around the world.

In the recycling process, which besides preserving the environment also generates income, the most recycled materials are glass, aluminum, paper and plastic. This recycling helps to significantly reduce water, air and soil pollution. Many companies are recycling materials as a way to lower the production costs of their products.

Another important benefit generated by recycling is the amount of new jobs it has generated in large urban centers. Many people with no formal job (registered work) are seeking work in this field and earning income to support their families. Paper and aluminum collectors' cooperatives, for example, are already common in the large cities of Brazil.

Various materials such as aluminum can be recycled with a reuse rate of approximately 100%. Melted, it goes back to the production lines of packaging industries, reducing costs for companies.

Several environmental education campaigns have brought attention to the problem of garbage in large urban centers. Increasingly, urban centers with high population growth rates are finding it difficult to find places to set up landfills. Therefore, recycling proves to be an economically viable solution as well as being environmentally friendly. In schools, many students are instructed by educators to sort out the trash in their homes. Another interesting fact is that it is already very common in large residential condominiums the recycling of garbage.

Recycling in the countryside

In rural regions recycling is also happening. Organic waste (leftover vegetables, fruits, grains and vegetables) is used in the production of organic fertilizer for use in agriculture.

As we can see, if human beings know how to use the resources that nature offers, we may soon have a cleaner and more sustainably developed environment.


- Did you know that many products take many years to absorb into the environment?

Below is a list of substances and objects and the time they take to absorb into the soil.

· Plain paper: 2-4 weeks

· Banana peel: 2 years

· Cans: 10 years

· Glasses: 4,000 years

· Fabrics: 100 to 400 years old

· Cigarette butts: 10 to 20 years

· Leather: 30 years

· Plastic packaging: from 30 to 40 years old

· Nylon strings: 30 to 40 years old

· Chewing Gum: 5 years

· Aluminum cans: 80 to 100 years old