06 Dec Six myths about recycling
Six myths about recycling
Since the early 19th century, the reuse of refuse has grown tremendously in popularity. During the industrial revolution new products made of copper, aluminium, bronze and brass were invented and countries worldwide started to salvage unwanted materials.
Today the sorting and conversion of rubbish into new materials is known as recycling and it remains the most favourable cure to the world’s waste issue.
But despite its popularity, there is still much misinformation surrounding the recycling process. Take for instance the following charity myths:
1. Myth 1 – Everything can be recycled
This is simply not the case. Materials such as plastic bags, paper coffee cups, paper and plastic bottles are commonly recycled, but the technology isn’t there for every product just yet.
Similarly, products will only be recycled when it makes economic sense to do so. Manufacturers won’t show an interest if there is no market for the end product.
But there are alternatives. At Westcountry Skip Hire, we divert 98.5% of all waste from landfill every month and any residual non-recyclable waste left over is sent for use as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
2. Myth 2 – Rubbish is sorted by hand
In the early stages of municipal recycling it wasn’t clear how well people would take to such a new initiative, so people were employed to ensure everything was sorted correctly.
Today, we have machines do the hard work for us. Even so, machines require energy to function, so you can still do your bit for the environment by paying more attention when sorting out your disposables.
3. Myth 3 – We have enough landfill, recycling is not important
The world’s population is growing and landfill is limited. We may have enough places at the moment but this won’t be the case tomorrow – unless you’d like to live next to a landfill site that is?
Even if that sounds like your cup of tea, landfill is not just about the space needed for our refuse but the environmental issues caused as a result of waste disposal. Problems such as soil and water contamination and the release of methane from organic matter is harmful to humans and the earth, which leads us on to our next point…
4. Myth 4 – Recycling causes pollution
Recycling avoids the incineration of materials and with it the pollution of water and air. In fact, the above landfill issues cause far greater stress on the environment than pollution from recycling car mileage and reprocessing.
The majority of waste disposal companies such like Westcountry Skip Hire strive to find the nearest locality for their customer’s as a way of reducing transport costs and air pollution.
5. Myth 5 – Biodegradable items don’t have to be recycled
False! Biodegradables need oxygen to decompose – a luxury that simply doesn’t exist in tight landfill conditions. Instead, these items will break down into methane and be released as greenhouse gases over centuries. It’s far better to recycle biodegradables or use them as compost.
6. Myth 6 – Recycling becomes landfill anyway
This myth is born from bad press and a lack of education. Contamination from food or non-recyclable waste is one of the leading causes of unsafe loads; however people remain routinely mixed-up on what can and cannot be recycled.
Nonetheless, researchers are still working around the clock to find new technologies to separate contaminated items. We’re not quite there yet, but we will be! Get in touch with your local council to find out more on how to sort your rubbish.
Alternatively, get in touch with one of our waste experts now on 0800 085 4484.