Today’s society is surrounded by various problems that are often caused by itself. An example of this is a serious problem that is constantly on the agenda: pollution caused by waste and the absence of recycling. Exaggerated consumerism is the main cause for large amounts of waste and therefore pollutes the environment. We buy more and more, sometimes products that we don’t even need, and we constantly replace what we have, generating unnecessary disposals at a pace of unbridled consumption.
Fortunately, humanity has the habit of going after solutions to the problems it has created. The garbage issue covers 3 actions that help to reduce the impact of solid waste on the environment. They are: composting, selective collection and recycling.
However, before entering in the merit of these actions, we need to understand that, to solve the problem, it was necessary to change the concept of garbage. In other words, it was necessary to transform what we saw as something without value, dirt, remains and useless leftovers into raw material for the production of new objects.
Most of the household waste (produced indoors) is composed of organic matter, i.e., food waste. From them, it is possible to make the composting, a natural biological process in which the microorganisms decomposers, as fungi and bacteria, degrade the organic matter, transforming it into humus, material rich in nutrients and fertile. In short, it is the recycling of organic matter in organic fertilizer, which can be used in agriculture or in gardens. In this way, composting not only avoids pollution but also helps the economy, generating income.
Although they have composting plants, it can be done indoors, in a simple way.
Selective collection is a process that precedes and facilitates recycling. It is the collection of materials that are or are not possible to be recycled, giving a destination for all waste: recycling or final destination environmentally correct. The disposals are separated into wet, dry, recyclable and organic. The recyclables have several types of paper, plastics, metals and glass.
The garbage separation avoids the contamination of the reusable materials, increasing their added value and decreasing the recycling costs.
The process of selective collection has great importance for society, generating income for millions of people and economy for companies. Therefore, this practice is extremely advantageous for the environment, decreasing the pollution of the soils and rivers, besides avoiding that certain residues go to the wrong places and cause environmental damages.
The separation of distinct waste occurs through dumps that are differentiated by color. Thus, blue is destined for paper and cardboard; green for glass; red for plastics; yellow for metals; brown for organic waste; black for wood; gray for non-recycled materials; white for hospital waste; orange for hazardous waste; and purple for radioactive waste.
Recycling is a way to reuse discarded raw materials (the term comes from the English: “re”=repeat and “cycle”=cycle, that is, repeat the cycle). Such technique consists in changing the physical, physical-chemical or biological state of the waste in order to assign characteristics so that it becomes raw material or product again.
Through it, the pollution of water, soil and air is reduced; there is the reduction of the progressive accumulation of waste; generation of jobs and profit; development of ecological awareness and socio-environmental responsibility; improvement of the quality of life of the poultry-making; and there is also a reduction in the consumption of natural resources.
Examples of waste recycling:
- plastic: can be recycled and transformed into packaging, toys, furniture, fabrics, garbage bags, floors, hoses, car parts, etc.
- Paper: can be reused in toilet paper, paper towels, uncoated paper, copy paper, newspaper, magazines, books, notebooks, etc;
- aluminum: it can be transformed into liquid aluminum, which turns into ingots or aluminum plates. The materials are sold to industries that manufacture aluminum products and packaging, including beverage cans. Thus, the material returns to the production chain.
- glass: it can be recycled and used on glass packaging.
However, the truth is that many of the actions mentioned along the material are not in fact performed daily in a generalized way. It is not everybody who makes composting and on the selective collection, many times it does not occur and not all recyclable material is in fact recycled. However, after learning about it, we can try to execute these small attitudes in our routine and still help the planet.