To stop rubbish pollution by recycling is much harder for society to achieve than the old methods of “use it once and throw it away”. We all realise this but before we get carried away with the idea of “zero waste” and the end of landfills, let’s think for a while about the four essentials of successful recycling.
Like it or not experience has shown that all four have to be in place, and working properly before a stable recycling system can work efficiently and allow investors confidence to lend their money to the entrepreneurs society needs so badly to pick up the challenge and make their green business work profitably for them and at lowest cost to the community.
Each element needs to work properly, if recycling is to happen. To re-state a well-worn truism, recycling is more than simply collecting and sorting waste – it needs to be processed and sold into a stable market for a profit to the operator, as well.
The rest of this article looks at each of these elements in turn.
1. Legislative Framework
A legislative framework of reasonable sophistication is needed to ensure that adequate drivers are present and sufficient stability exists within emerging markets in commodities hitherto thought of as rubbish within any economy. Without laws and regulations which are all about raising recycling rates and minimising landfill, it may not be possible to raise the credibility of many recycling markets being long-term and profitable sufficiently for them to become so. Such faith that government Cheapest Skips in Dublin will back recyclers, is needed to kick-start recycling companies to form, and keep it going for long enough for the theory to become self fulfilling; and it seems that passing laws to make it happen is the only way.
2. Collection and Sorting
Until the mid-2000s, recycling was most often been associated with bottle bins and paper banks. These are the so-called ‘bring’ systems. These systems of banks or bins are certain to continue to play an important but proportionately diminishing role in recycling for the foreseeable future.
The number and diversity of recycling banks (from large Household Waste Recycling Centres to community skip bays) needs to and is increasing. This process has been repeating itself for at least the last 15 years. For example the glass manufacturers doubled the present number over the last approximately 5 years. The steel industry intends to have can banks for every person requiring a 5 times growth.
As well as the traditional materials of paper and glass, banks for textiles, plastic and metal cans new methods of working resulting from raised investment levels, are now common. The way forward for “bring’ systems seems to be evolving as these centres take so many different materials and become micro-recycling centres, which provide smaller containers for a range of materials nearer to people’s homes.
Since then, in the UK, kerbside collections (with separate containers supplied by the collection contractor) have been introduced in most areas along with alternating fortnightly collections of residual and green waste. The wastes collected in the recyclates bin cover a range of materials. These collections are described as source segregated clean materials.