A lot of companies, cities, organizations and clean-up or recycling campaigns base their success on that how much tons of recyclables they have collected or recycled. But actually this quantity based approach isn’t the best tactic when it comes to recycling strategies and over all waste management. Lets look at some of the reason why is that and how we can change that to be sure, that we recycle to the best of our abilities and therefore keep our world clean and waste-free better.
Recycling is and will be the best way to make sure that we limit the amount of virgin materials we are mining and using to produce things like aluminum. As well as a way how to save resources like energy, fuel and money in this process of making new materials and products from these materials. However that doesn’t justify the obsession many have with that how much wight they have recycled, because that actually doesn’t show us the impact our recycling has on the environment all it shows is how much recyclable material you have managed to collect.
Right now the environmental benefit from recycling depends on the materials you are actually recycling, since the recycling technologies of various materials are so different. So we should really pay more attention to what we are recycling, rather than how much we are recycling. And by focusing on what we are recycling we can do it more efficiently and therefore provide that we save more money and do better in regards to the environmental effects recycling has.
Moreover, the tactic of looking at what we are recycling rather than how much, also allows us to analyze recycling management data and to employ ways of recycling that truly will let us recycle the waste in the best possible way. This analysis is called lifecycle analysis in which the life cycle of products is exterminated, to find out what are the environmental impacts of this particular product. And once we know how much of a footprint a product leaves during its life cycle, we can determine what type of recycling will reduce this footprint the most and therefore can use this method in the recycling of these products.
So lets all forget the quantity based recycling goals and concentrate in quality of our recycling, since in the long run, that how well we recycle the products and how efficient this recycling process is, will ultimately dictate how much we will be able to limit the amount of impact waste has on our environment and therefore our lives, too.