Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Statistically, over the last years the interest for recycling and everything related to it has rushed over the countries of the world and also statistically their evolution in this area has become more and more obvious for one reason and another.
The responsible behavior of the society will be a lot more obvious if according to the statistics our way of life would become more concerned about the future of our society.
Under the condition that the countries of the world race towards being more into recycling than ever, we are about to consider, perhaps for the first time the extraordinary initiative some of them have on the matter.
This is how in India, private recycling business seems to become a viable source of income while in United Kingdom the public authorities sustain the main actions and initiatives in recycling. Around 17.7 percent of waste recycled in UK is equaled by the same amount recycled in Ireland and Italy while in Austria the figures rise to the impressive 60 %.
The Asian world had the commendable initiative of turning waste recycling into a profitable business associating it a sense of “must” that has made it sound like the second nature of their civilization. This is why over 2.5 million people are involved in recycling in China while in Japan this industry met a profit of 360 billion dollars.
Brazil with its 3 million dollar recycling business, Peru with the first plastic waste recycling plant and Chile with its electronic scrap recycling process made South America a real player in the recycling business.
Africa is recycling hundreds of tones of glass and Egypt serves as an example because has turned the recycling business into a source of income some countries will envy for sure.
When you think that over 544,000 trees would be saved if US would consider using recycled paper, and 9 cubic yards of soil would be saved from the faith of being covered by landfill if a tone of cardboard would be recycled, the 5% of energy used to produce aluminum compared to recycling it, can seem unimportant.
Still looking at the big picture in which Switzerland recycles over 52% of its waste compared to US recycling only 31.5% we must agree that being responsible towards recycling is directly linked to how a society is educated to see it.
Being responsible is something that can be taught and learned and this can be achieved by each and every one of us.
Recycling: By the Numbers
• 544,000: Trees saved if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100 percent recycled ones.
• 20 million: Tons of electronic waste thrown away each year. One ton of scrap from discarded computers contains more gold than can be produced from 17 tons of gold ore.
• 9 cubic yards: Amount of landfill space saved by recycling one ton of cardboard.
• $160 billion: Value of the global recycling industry that employs over 1.5 million people.
• 79 million tons: Amount of waste material diverted away from disposal in 2005 through recycling and composting.
• 5 percent: Fraction of the energy it takes to recycle aluminum versus mining and refining new aluminum.
• 315 kg: Amount of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere each time a metric ton of glass is used to create new glass products.
• 98 percent: Percentage of glass bottles in Denmark that are refillable. 98 percent of those are returned by consumers for reuse.
• 51.5 percent: Percentage of the paper consumed in the U.S. that was recovered for recycling in 2005.
Top 5 Recycling Countries :
Different parts of the world and how seriously they take recycling.
• In Dharavi, India, many people make a living by creating their own recycling factories. It is estimated that the self-made recycling industry employs roughly 200,000 people. It’s not merely taking care of waste, but a way of life and a source of income.
• India recycles roughly 40 percent of their e-waste a year. This includes such items as broken or unwanted electrical appliances.
• Austria takes the cake by recycling roughly 60 percent of its waste.
• The United Kingdom recycles roughly 17.7 percent of its waste. Ireland, Italy, and Portugal are around the same percentage.
Japan and China
• In China, recycling isn’t just a citizen responsibility; it’s now considered second nature. Citizens and government alike in China are taking steps to encourage recycling. This has also become a profit machine. The citizens who diligently collect recyclables off the street are numbered around 2.5 million people. These scrap collectors earn the equivalent of $150 a month which is roughly half of what a cab driver earns in that country in the same time frame.
• It is estimated that 20 percent of the countries waste is disposed of improperly in China. This includes such items as building materials.
• Despite this, Beijing has built the world’s largest recycling facility and continues to install recycling bins. The city of Beijing hopes to increase their recycling rate from 10 percent to 80 percent by 2010.
• In Japan, recycling is a $360 billion dollar industry.
• In Brazil, nearly 500 cooperatives employ approximately 500,000 recycling collectors. This is a $3 billion industry.
• Fifty percent of the 140,000 tons of trash generated daily in Brazil is recycled.
• Chile opened its first electronic scrap recycling facility in 2005.
• Peru opened its first recycling plant in 2007, which processes plastic packaging.
• The Glass Recycling Company has partnered with the government and glass manufacturers in South Africa in an attempt to increase the current glass recycling rate. This partnership increased recycling rates from 148,000 tons to 183,000 tons of glass recycling in roughly a year and a half.