Recycling and landfills – A brief overview

When it comes to waste management processes, there are three different processes that are used.

These are incineration, recycling or the dumping of waste in to a landfill.

All three of these processes are used on a frequent basis across the globe, and the effect of all three on the environment is different. Understanding the difference between these three processes is important for people so that they at least know where their waste is being thrown.

Most people believe that the waste they throw is dumped in to the sea and oceans, and even though part of it is true, the harmful effects of dumping waste in to the ocean means it is an illegal activity and is certainly not recognized by the government.

Governments usually set up different processes for the treatment of wastage, so that the harmful effects on the environment can be lessened to as little a degree as possible. Here is a brief idea about recycling against landfills and incineration.


Recycling accounted for just 10 percent of the total waste that was thrown in to the earth in the 1980’s but this number rose sharply within two decades and by 2010, around 34 percent of the total waste of this planet was being recycled in order to make something more productive and useful.

The effects of recycling cannot be ignored, because they are largely favorable for the environment. There are basically three different types of recycling processes that are used: paper recycling, mineral recycling as well as e- waste recycling. All of the waste you throw away is classified in to these categories and is then recycled appropriately.

Paper recycling, as you might know, is the recycling of paper. Recycling paper is important because it helps the earth combat the constant deforestation. In the 1980’s, the effects of deforestation were at their peak as large forests were cut down for the wood to be utilized in the making of paper and other resources, and with time, people realized how crucial forests are for the existence of life on this planet.

Therefore, serious measures were taken in order to initiate re- plantation and to make sure that paper was recycled. All the waste you throw is assorted in to three different categories, with paper being one of them. Paper recycling has really hit it off, and a lot of used paper is now recycled effectively to limit the cutting of trees.

Mineral waste is the waste that we throw away which can be broken down to its constituent minerals and be used again. There are a number of high tech machines located in recycling plants which are able to break down fully processed items and then via the help of chemical processes, the minerals can be extracted.

Mineral recycling is extremely crucial, because basically, the extraction of minerals has reached new heights on planet earth and people fail to realize that minerals are a non- renewable resource. Once these resources get used up completely, it will be very difficult for mankind to be able to sustain itself, which is why the recycling of mineral waste is such a high priority.

The third and the largest recycling is that of e- waste material. Every single Mobil phone, appliances, torches batteries, screens or virtually anything that is powered by electricity is regarded as e- waste. Whenever you through an electronic item down the garbage chute, it is assorted in to the e- waste category. E- waste is treated separately cannot be compared to mineral waste or paper recycling, mainly because the processes involved are completely different.

The recycling of e- waste is important because a lot of different materials are used in the manufacture of this type of waste, and it becomes tremendously important for people to make sure that they are disposing off their garbage in the right manner. Recycle bins are located throughout the globe, and they have a logo of three arrows pointing at each other in a triangular position.


Landfills, on the other hand, are completely different. In a landfill, waste is simple deposited in to a dug up area in the ground, and then a covering is placed on top of it in order to prevent the smell or the liquids from pouring it, if any.

The concept of landfills is a lot simpler than recycling, because waste is just dumped in to a large area in the ground. However, landfills are regulated by the federal government, which keeps track of all the waste that is thrown, and also runs regular checks in order to make sure that the waste within the landfill is not leaking in to the nearby surroundings.

Most people believe that the land used for the culmination of landfills is quickly running about, but that is not the truth. In fact, the land used for landfills is increasing steadily as more empty area is being taken under purview. Even if landfill operators stop looking at new land and capitalize on their current capacity, it will be 40 years before the land will run out.

Moreover, a lot of people also believe that landfills are polluting. According to Gainesville Dumpster Rental Center, even though waste is dumped into the ground, 2 feet of solid clay soil is plastered on all sides of the landfill in order to make sure that the waste does not seep in to the surrounding area.

Moreover, regular ground water samples are taken by scientists and evaluated in order to make sure that the land is kept free of any waste content. On the top of the landfill, a proper flexible membrane is put over, as well as another layer of land so as to make sure that no liquids tend to flow out of the landfill.

Basically, landfills are much cheaper as compared to recycling, mainly because very little money is required in creating and setting up a landfill, rather than carrying out a myriad of different processes in order to recycle something that has been thoroughly used.