Why recycling is so important in today's day and time
From your home, but away from the landfill
Nowadays in developed parts of Europe most households have bins that are sectioned so that the "bin men" actually aren't allowed to take your rubbish unless you have segregated it, so for the most part rubbish can be recycled from your home. For example you must separate food, glass, plastic and paper. In Switzerland they take getting rid of your waste very seriously and you even have to buy specific bin bags to propose your waste for recycling and in some cases pay for its disposal. All other waste that cannot be disposed of is charged, and charged a lot higher than recyclable materials, which dramatically decreases the amount of consumption and packaging that the residents purchase.
Picture by Crystal Skinner
In the UAE, responsible waste management and an emphasis on lowering consumption levels is somewhat new. Yet there are ways to be smart about this while you live here. Especially for those expats who have just landed and feel like they have to change their smart ways to live by the home waste management system here in the UAE . Today you can release some of that guilt and get back on it!
Although household waste is not divided and mostly ends up in a landfill, I happened to stumble on a recycling centre at the Umm Suqeim beach that is free for all. I don't drive due to ecofriendly reasons and it is still a little hot for me, but I still made the effort via public transport to take a suitcase of my recycling to this depo, to make a point. There are ways to be sustainable here, even if it's not on your doorstep. It may just take a little effort in finding out what is accessible.
This depo set up by Averda has sections for wood, leather, plastic, paper, textiles and fabrics, cardboard, electric lamps, mobile phones, hard disks, large e-waste, clear glass, coloured glass, cans, metals, rubber and batteries.
Picture by Crystal Skinner
Recycling to some just seems like a waste of time. However if I told you that landfills create a clear and obvious threat to human health as well as a threat to our environment from the hazardous contaminated air emissions emitted from the landfill biodegradation. These chemicals leak into the ground of the soil that we use for growing crops and also into the air we breathe. Would the consequence of this leading to your or your children's possible early death make you read on?
According to a study by Wegreen USA-there are over ten toxic gases released from landfills, of the most serious of which is methane. As methane gas is formed, it builds up pressure and then begins to move through the soil. In a recent study of 288 landfills in the USA, off-site migration of gases, including methane, has been detected at 83 per cent of these landfill sites. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Why? According to the environmental defense fund it absorbs the sun's heat, warming the atmosphere. While methane doesn't linger as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it is initially far more devastating to the climate because of how effectively it absorbs that heat.
NASA earth observatory states that, "warming the atmosphere modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases.
Storms, floods, and droughts will generally be more severe as precipitation patterns change. Rising sea levels will erode coasts and cause more frequent coastal flooding. Some island nations will disappear."
If the floods in Mumbai and Hurricane Harvey aren't enough of a wakeup call that global warming is here, then I don't know what is. However we need to be aware that we are responsible.
We can reverse this by lowering our consumption levels and disposing of packaging and food mindfully.
Think on average how much waste you get rid of in a week? Now times that by 2.789 million( The population at present just in Dubai alone) and 365 days of the year.
Just think in one year how much landfill waste is increasing global warming, terrifying unstoppable natural disasters and poisoning the food we eat and air we breathe.
No wonder the healthcare system is doing so well these days.
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