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The Importance of Recycling

The very process of the restoring the land to health is the process through which we become attuned to Nature and, through Nature, with ourselves.  Chris Maser, Forest Primeval

By Kelley Wells, CEI Intern

The world is a beautiful place to live, but it will not remain this way unless humans do something soon.

Garbage. Our environment is being polluted by all kinds of trash.  Trash is waste that is useless and it is composed of paper, plastic, metal, glass, food and other kinds of material.  Garbage comes from governmental agencies, businesses and residential homes.  The United States disposes of millions of pounds of refuse each year.  This type of environmental pollution is destroying our land and water resources.  Garbage dumps are piling up on our land and people do not want these disposal sites around their home.  Landfills are full of hazardous and toxic materials.  They are not beautiful places to be around and these increasing piles of waste are creating real issues for humans today.

Toxins. These refuse heaps are full of toxins that can soak into our soil and groundwater.  Many of these harmful substances include solvents, mercury, acids, PVC, arsenic, lead and cadmium.  Humans can die from ingesting toxic materials.  Other problems that can occur is the formation of leachate.  Leachate is a fluid that develops from the breakdown of refuse when water seeps through it.  This substance is hazardous and it can contaminate our oceans, land and drinking water (Environment Victoria, n.d.).

Greenhouse gases. A significant challenge that humans face from garbage dumps are the release of greenhouse gases.  This happens when natural material such as food and green waste decomposes and it is covered and compacted.  The covered waste starts to release greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide can influence global warming and methane is combustible, which is harmful if it starts to collect and concentrate in large amounts.  Trash that is stored in landfills tend to decompose gradually.  This issue is something that humans will have to deal with now and into the future (Environment Victoria, n.d.).


If trash pollution is a problem, what can humans do about it?  The answer is recycle.  Recycling can help cut down on the accumulation of trash in our land and oceans.  Nearly everything that we have can be reclaimed for use.  Parents and kids can have fun gathering and sorting out paper and plastic from the household trash and put them into bins to be recycled. Adults can also separate electronics, metals and glass as well (Benefits of Recycling, 2014).

Recycling benefits the earth in multiple ways. Recycling of paper can aid in decreasing the number of trees that are cut down to make paper each year.  Simple things such as recycling can help conserve our environmental resources.  Other benefits of recycling includes reducing the amount of energy that is being released from factories due to the manufacturing process.  These industrial facilities release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which increases global warming and pollutes our air (Benefits of Recycling, 2014).

This reclamation process can assist families in saving money in the long-run because some companies buy metal cans, glass and electronics.  Parents and their children can make money at the same time, while helping to preserve our environment.  So let’s all recycle and make our world a better place to live for future generations to come (Benefits of Recycling, 2014).


Benefits of Recycling.  (2014). Why is recycling important?  Retrieved from

Environment Victoria.  (n.d.) The problem with landfills.  Retrieved from http://environment


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