17 January 2018

Rwanda: The Importance of Recycling

Recycling is important if we want to preserve this planet for our future generations. It is good for the environment, since we are making new products from the old products which are of no use to us. Recycling begins at home; if you are not throwing away any of your old products and instead utilising it for something new then you are actually recycling. When you think of recycling you should really think about the whole concept of; reduce, reuse and recycle. We've been careless up to this point with the way we've treated the Earth and it's time to change; not just the way we do things but the way we think.

Why should we recycle?

-To make the environment clean

-Conservation of materials

-To save energy

-Reduce garbage in landfills

Recycling is good for the environment, in the sense that, we are using old and waste products which are of no use and then converting them back to same new products. Since we are saving resources and are sending less trash to the landfills, it helps in reducing air and water pollution. Energy saving is important if we are to reduce the future effects of global warming. If we recycle one aluminum can, we are able to save enough energy to run a TV for around three hours. This will obviously depend on the energy consumption of your TV, but it gives you a great idea as to just how much energy can be saved during the process of recycling products.

We've been careless up to this point with the way we've treated Mother Earth and it's time to change; not just the way we do things but the way we think. Paper, glass, aluminum cans are examples of some products that are recycled in large quantities.

When you think of recycling you should really think about the whole idea; reduce, reuse and recycle. Think about it; if you don't need it, don't get it. If you have to get it, get something that can be used again and if you get something that needs to be recycled by the professionals, put it in the recycle bin. Conservation is an important part of recycling issue. When you produce less garbage it helps in reducing the landfills and also helps in giving the land back to nature.

Recycling serves two purposes: First, it avoids landfills and helps in reducing air and water pollution and, secondly, valuable material like aluminum cans and plastic and glass are reused in other forms and not wasted. Be mindful of what you do, pay attention to the items you buy and always check yourself to see if you really need it or if it comes in a package with less waste. We can all do our part and we will make a huge difference.

Kigali's garbage recycling market is steadily growing. Industry experts say this trend could partly explain why the city of over one million people remains one of the cleanest in the region.

While eco plastic deals with plastic materials, Coped (Company for Environment and Development), a cleaning company which has also invested in recycling organic waste, has established a system of collecting separated waste from clients who include hospitals, hotels, institutions and residences.

To help their customers sort the waste in the 30 tonnes they collect per day, they provide bags of different colours, made from Eco plastic recycled products: green for organic waste, yellow for paper, black for non-recyclable, blue for recyclable, and red for hazardous waste.

What we can do?

There are a number of things we could do to save this planet.

1. Throw away all the garbage in your house that is of no use to you or think you can't utilise in some other way.

2. Try to avoid the use of plastic bag and plastic paper as much as possible. They not only pollute the environment but also help in filling landfills. Also, when you shop try to look out for the products that have least packaging. Millions are spent on packaging these products which ultimately go to the garbage sites.

The writer is a Senior Six Student, Nu-Vision High School Kigali

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