How useful is recycling and can this really solve the waste crisis? There has been a lot of publicity recently about waste that's been meant for recycling, ending up in landfill sites and that increasing amounts of waste are also being shipped to other countries for disposal.
There is the argument that paper should be recycled so that we save trees and forests but we now grow trees just to produce paper. We need to ensure that any recycling programmes that are run are delivered effectively, meaning transparency should inform the whole waste management industry.
Study has shown that it costs more to recycle than to bury the used and manufacture the new from scratch. Therefore we could start landfills just for plastic, one for glass et cetera, and if or when we do run out of them, we can just dig them all up in one go and take them for recycling.
At present, only a small number of households have access to curbside collections. If these collections don’t cover glass, paper, plastic etc. then how far do you have to drive to the nearest recycling centre? What about the financial cost to collect the recycling or to take it to the recycling centre and what about the energy taken for recycling? How much landfill is available?
The European Union has ordered the citizens of the United Kingdom to roughly double their recycling rates. Governments across EU and US have announced plans to require more recycling. The UK government already charges tax for dumping waste in landfill sites to encourage people to recycle.
This will punish local councils which continue to use landfills and council tax payers will pay the price for poor performance by not recycling waste or not having the facilities to do it. UK proposes cutting the amount of waste put into landfill sites to 25% by 2020.
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