It was an interesting conversation with a supporter of recycling who had some questions.
He wondered if recycling actually helps the environment when all the activities are considered.
He was referring to driving materials to the Recycling Centre, shipping them to Winnipeg and then to the factories and the whole process of making them into something new.
Recycling activities definitely affect the environment like everything we do. Studies have been done that compare the environmental costs to the benefits.
Recycling is a win for the environment.
This is what we know.
Recycling reduces the amount of waste in landfills. Smaller landfills take up less space and cost less to operate. They produce less acidic liquid run off called leachate and less methane and carbon dioxide.
Recycling conserves natural resources like trees, water and minerals. Recycling is less polluting and harmful to the environment than collecting raw materials and making things from scratch.
Recycling saves energy. For example, recycling aluminum cans take one twelfth of the energy it takes to make a brand new one. The amount of energy saved by recycling one aluminum can run a computer for 5 hours.
Everything we have comes from the Earth. Its resources are finite. Recycling means there will be more left for future generations.
It also creates jobs.
Every year for Earth Day the company we ship our materials sends a report of the environmental benefits from our recycling program. In 2016 we saved 4,310 mature trees, 7,040,980 liters of water, reduced carbon emissions by 1,188 tons, saved 2,666,590 kwh of energy and diverted 1,705 cubic yards of waste from the landfill.
Recycling makes a difference.