Recycling definition

There is a need to document Indianapolis' recycling alternatives in order to increase individual engagement in the entire recycling process.

Recycling is the activity of transforming waste materials and artifacts into new and useable materials and objects. Recycling refers to traditional trash disposal management, which can preserve materials and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere (Albert 74). Recycling decreases the waste of useful materials while simultaneously lowering the consumption rate of new raw materials derived from natural resources, resulting in lower energy consumption, water pollution, and air pollution. and other forms of pollutions which may be harmful to different environments. Recycling is an essential method of the modern waste management and the conservation of the useful materials that can be re-used for several purposes. It is the third component of the "reuse, reduce, recycles, and the recycle" waste management chain of command. There are different ISO standards relating to the recycling processes, these include ISO 2008 (15270) that provides procedures and standards for plastic waste management and ISO 2004 (14001) that provides general standards for environmental management controls of recycling practices (Stensel and Jacek 44).

There are many different materials that are recyclable including plastics, glass materials, papers, metals, cardboards, tires, electronics, and textiles e.t.c. alternatively; recycling can also be defined as the process of composting or reusing the biodegradable waste materials like the garden waste materials or the food waste materials. The above materials can be converted to other useful consumable materials, the process that can help in ensuring food security. For instance, dry potatoes can be converted into the floor and used as the food material. During recycling, the waste materials are either brought into the collection center or collected from the curbside cleaned, sorted, and processed into usable materials for manufacturing processes. The recycling process involves producing fresh supplies of the similar materials, for instance, the used office papers can be converted into the new office papers. The used polystyrene foam can also be converted into polystyrene products during recycling. On the other hand, the process of recycling polystyrene is usually complex and expensive as compared to the original processes of producing the same product from the new raw materials. In many cases, the process of recycling many different products involves their reuse in processing similar new products. Salvage is also another form of recycling techniques of different materials from the complex products, either because of their intrinsic values, for example, extracting gold from circuit boards or lead from car batteries (Riede 219). The above processes can be achieved to reduce the hazardous nature of the above waste products. Another example of the Salvage process is the extraction and reuse of mercury from thermostats and thermometers.

Recycling is a process that dates back to the ancient times, the time that resources were scarce. The carbon dating techniques of the ancient waste materials indicate the presence of the less household waste materials like pottery, broken tools, and ash. This means that there were many waste products that were being recycled in the lack of new materials. Before the period of industrialization, there were clear evidence of metal recycling processes where the waste metals like bronze were collected and melted down to design other products. The recycled papers were first recorded in the year 1031, the time when Japanese printers first sold the repulped papers. Additionally, ash and dust from woods were collected by the dustmen in Britain to be used in brick making. The main drivers of recycling processes were the economic quest of obtaining recycled products rather than using the virgin materials. The above scenario would enhance the conservation processes thereby reducing the environmental pollution. The lack of proper mechanisms of waste removal was another main driver of the recycling processes before the industrialization time. Recycling is, therefore, an important practice that should be adopted by the modern economies to ensure the conservation of the available resources which are limited. The process also helps in the environmental protection as it helps in the management of the waste plastics. For the recycling processes to work, countries need to pass legislations that can help in regulating the recycling processes in order to ensure effective outcomes.

How Recycling Works

Recycling is a simple concept that involves taking materials, food substances, or the garden wastes and converting them into new materials instead of throwing them away. In many cases, recycling can get complex, the way it affects the environments and economy and even the human behavior patterns play a big role in the future of the planet. Recycling can take very many different forms, it can be done on a small scale, and any time an individual finds ways on how they can reuse the old material that in itself is a recycling process. An example of how the simple recycling can be done is making used cereal boxes into magazine holders. The large scale recycling processes are essential in the production of large-scale products from the old materials. At this level, the old and used consumer materials are collected and converted back to raw materials used in making new products. The metallic materials can be melted down and used for molding ornaments and other useful products that can fetch income. For example, aluminum cans, steel from old buildings, plastic wastes and office papers are some of the materials that are normally recycled in large quantities during the industrial processes. The large quantity recycling processes are done by a different organization like the municipal organizations that are involved in bulk household collections. The end products of the recycling processes may produce materials that are not exactly the same as the original material used in recycling process. Recycled paper, for instance, contains ink deposits and consists of shorter fibers when compared to the original papers extracted from the wood pulp. Therefore, the recycled paper may become less desirable for other purposes.

During recycling processes, there are procedures that ought to be followed for a successful end result. The recyclables materials are collected by a recycling truck and put on a Material Recovery Facility. The recyclables are arranged and sorted into different categories depending on the forms of the wastes and the components. The waste materials are then baled and sent to the recycling plants. In the case of paper recycling, papers are usually collected, sorted and sent to the recycling plants where they are processed into different materials. In the process, papers are soaked and shredded inside the vats to become pulp. After refinement and screening processes, the pulps are usually placed into a machine, a procedure that leads to the production of sheets of papers. The sheets dried, rolled up to make new sheets of papers. When recycling plastics, it is necessary to consider the recycling facilities that specialize in the synthesis of plastics into new usable products. During the process of recycling, plastics are sent to the recycling facility where they are first sorted according to the plastic types. During the recycling process, different types of plastics are crushed into smaller pieces and blended or combined to produce a form of a mixture that exhibits a form of homogenous quality. The blended mixture is then channeled through a series of form strands, by the extrusion process. The plastic strands are then cut into pellets after cooling and to be used for the production of new materials. Glass is another form of materials are usually recycled to form new glass products that can either be sold or used at home. During the recycling processes, the waste glasses are sorted according to their color; they are properly cleaned and squashed into cullets. The cullets are melted for from new glass products. The same procedure applies to metallic waste products. During the metallic recycling process, metals are sorted and then compacted. After compaction, the metals are broken down into smaller pieces, melted and molded into new products. The recycled goods are either cheaper or weaker than the original material; this is because of the intense processes that they undergo during the recycling processes. Generally, the recycling process involves the collection of the waste materials, sorting and finally, the actual process of recycling then follows where new materials are produced from the used ones.

Literature Review

Economic Benefits of Recycling

The processes of recycling have many benefits to different economies. The recycling process makes perfect economic or business sense for many countries. One of the main economic benefits of recycling is that it saves money; it is normally cheaper to produce industrial products using the recycled materials. For instance, using fresh aluminum in the production of new aluminum products is more expensive than using the recycled aluminum. In most cases, more energy is required in the extraction of the aluminum from the raw forms while less energy is applied to the extraction of the aluminum from the recyclable materials. The products made from recycled materials can be bought at cheaper prices due to their low quality and durability; this is one of the economic benefits of the recycling processes. The process of recycling also reduces economic expenditures in different ways. The recycling process can enable the communities to save the costs of waste disposals like the landfill costs that are usually very expensive. Additionally, the sale of the recycled products often offsets the costs associated with waste disposals, a situation that further reduces their expenditures (Bonenberg, Wojciech, and Xia 1656). Through recycling, many landfill spaces can be saved and directed for other uses. In the nations where land is a scarce commodity, saving the landfills through recycling waste products could mean saving the production lands, a process which can lead to the generation of millions of dollars to different economies and increase earnings for citizens. The saved lands can also be used to carry out revenue-generating functions. The recycling processes enabled materials to be used to their maximum potential, a scenario where nothing goes into waste. The above cost-effective practices not only save money but the natural resources and the environment too. The above situation indicates that the recycling processes save the environments and benefits the economies.

The recycling processes generate revenue and create jobs for different people across different economies. Recycling creates various jobs and business opportunities to the jobless people. The selling of the recovered materials, transportation services, and the processing carried out in different recycling plants are some of the business opportunities brought about by the recycling practices. The companies that manufacture and distribute products designed from the recycled materials also benefit the economy through the provision of the job opportunities for the people. When the recycling is done, more job opportunities are created than when the waste materials are discharged to the environment. In most cases, dumping over ten thousand tons of waste in a landfill leads to the creation of six jobs while recycling the same amount of waste leads to the creation of over thirty-six jobs (Ekström, Karin and Nicklas 392). This indicates the economic value that recycling brings to different economies. Jobs available in the recycling industries add values to the processing of raw materials, the scenario that contributes to the increase in skill workers like the dispatchers, sales representatives, event chemists, processing engineers, truck drivers, and material sorters. Most of these jobs pay more than the average national wages and most of them are found in urban centers where jobs opportunities are in high demand. In the state of California, waste management and recycling contributes immensely in the job creation scale as compared to the entertainment industry. In California, the mainstream recycling industry consisting of 5,300 business operators and engaging more than 85,000 employees has been created. In the above recycling plant, over four billion US dollars are paid out in salaries and over ten billion worth of goods and services are produced annually (Fine 29). In the United States of America, there are over fifty six thousand recycling plants and reuse establishments that employ over one million people (Fine 37). The above number of employees can only be compared to the employment opportunities created in the truck and automobile manufacturing industries in the US. On the other hand, the number of workers employed by the recycling companies is significantly larger than the number employed by the mining industries in the entire United States of America. In many cases, the wages for workers in the recycling industries are usually than the national average for all the industries (Zeng, Jinhui and Narendra 1146).

In general, revenues of over two hundred and thirty billions US dollars are usually generated from the recycling plants. Apart from creating new jobs and businesses, recycling benefits different economies and generates revenues through the sale of materials and the recycling products as well. There are available markets for the recycled materials and the profits from the recycling industries usually prove to be very high. Local communities can also benefit from the recycling programs through selling the recyclable materials like metals. Waste papers used plastics and old clothes. There are countries that depend on the import of the waste materials for the manufacturing processes; these countries do not have their own natural resources like forests where they can find the original materials for manufacturing different products like papers. It is, therefore, necessary for the above countries to import waste materials from other countries for their manufacturing industries, a scenario that improves the bilateral trade between countries. For instance, countries like Japan, South Korea, and China imports waste papers. They are able to depend on economically; low-cost viable options of recycling process to preserve the limited natural resources available in some areas. As the market for the recyclable materials increases, the income generated in the industry increases as well. This, therefore, means that the recycling is good both for the environment and the economic status of a country.

Environmental Benefits of Recycling

The recycling processes help in the conservation of the natural resources. One of the main reasons why countries promote the recycling processes it to reduce the strain on the environment and the natural resources that are on the verge of depletion. The utilization of the waste products in a constructive can slowly reduce the size of landfills. The increase in population might make the landfills to hold too much trash, a situation that can lead to the adverse effects of environmental pollution (Zeng, Jinhui and Narendra 1146). When this happens, the beautiful landscapes and cities might face poisoning and different health problems. The recycling process, therefore, helps in keeping the pollution in check thereby decreasing it bit by bit. Old bottles, scrap cars, used rubber tires and junk emails are associated with landfills. All the above features of pollution may become endless due to the continuous production and manufacturing processes. The resources used in the above case are getting depleted. Recycling enables the above junk items to be reused so as to preserve the available natural resources like forests that are helpful to the environment; it helps in the conserving the available natural resources like minerals, water, coal, timber, gas, and oil. Recycling also enables the environmental conservationist to develop technology useful in utilizing the resources that already exist. The above situation explains why many industries support programs that can avail large quantities of recyclable materials to be converted into useful products. Through recycling, waste papers can be converted into useful papers seven times. The process of recycling waste papers also uses less water than when the paper is made from the original raw materials (Stensel and Jacek 44).

Recycling processes reduce energy consumptions. During the process of recycling, less energy is applied than when the manufacturing process is carried out from virgin resources. For instance, the processes of recycling papers apply up to fifty percent less energy than producing it from raw materials. During the process of manufacturing products from the recycled products, fewer pollutants are produced, a scenario that leads to the less environmental pollution. The recycling reduces the emission of greenhouse gases thereby decreasing the atmospheric pollution. Landfills usually look ugly with flies and waste piling up with foul smell; these wastes may also emit dangerous toxins and greenhouse gases that are harmful to the ecosystems. When organic wastes are placed into the landfill, they are usually pressed down and covered. The above process removes oxygen thereby causing the food materials to aerobically break down. During the aerobic processes, methane gas is released (greenhouse gas). Methane twenty-one times more intoxicating than carbon IV oxide (Crook 73). To help in mitigating the above issue, the food waste food materials can be composed through the processes of organic recycling programs. The recycling approaches tend to save energy which leads to less emission of greenhouse gases. The increased level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes global warming, a natural phenomenon that has continued to pose threats to the earth and all the living things in it. Recycling helps in reducing water and air pollution by decreasing the number of pollutants released into the environments. In most cases, the recycling rate of thirty percent is almost comparable to removing thirty million cars from the roads (Park et al. 1129). Recycling stimulates the application of greener technology. The continuous use of the recycled products has enabled the people to adopt greener technologies. The use of renewable sources of energy such as solar, geothermal, and the wind is on the rise and this has helped in the reduction of pollution and conservation of energy. Recycling also helps in preventing the loss of biodiversity. Manufacturers only need fewer raw materials when they engage in recycling techniques. The recycling processes can help in the conservation of natural resources and reduce the loss of biodiversity, rainforests, and ecosystems. With recycling processes, mining activities which are considered dangerous for the mine workers can be greatly reduced. Water pollution and soil erosion can be greatly reduced due to the conservation of forest covers, a scenario that will help in the protection of native flora and fauna to survive different forests. With recycling, deforestation which is currently on the rise will reduce significantly due to the conservation of the natural resources.

The Percentage of Indianapolis Residence that Recycle

Following the outcome of the Indiana Court of Appeal decision to zero down the contentious long-term recycling deal, the Indianapolis environmental advocates and the city officials are planning to build another program from the start according to the resident input (Nam 137). Currently, the nature of recycling being done in Indianapolis is among the worst of any major city in the United States of America (Kozak 339). Only 10% of the households in Indianapolis take part in the city's recycling programs and only 5.8% of the waste materials from the residential areas are subjected to recycling processes (Gandy 49). In Indianapolis, the rate of recycling is 34% nationally (Burcham 58). Currently in Indianapolis, the households in single-family homes can subscribe to eighty-one dollars annually for carbide recycling program in addition to the regular trash pick-ups, consequently, the same households can to at least six dollars in one month. The individuals who live in the apartments can take their waste materials to the collection centers unless the landlords offer special collection services. Only one in ten households have been willing to offer additional payment for the additional public apathy and services, a situation that has made the recycling program a less priority for most politicians. With other demands from the population, the government does not find it appropriate to invest more on the recycling programs that do not seem to benefit the public. The backdrop is one of the main things that the mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard to sign the recycling deals with Covanta, the solid waste company involved in the management of the city's trash. The above single stream facility could have enabled the Indianapolis residents to recycle waste materials without the active participation in recycling processes. The above scenario would have enabled the Covanta to separate reusable materials from the trash after collection in different garbage centers. The Democrats and the environmental groups strongly opposed the forty-five billion US-dollar facilities that was termed as the "dirty recycling" They stated that a lot of materials would be contaminated as a result of their combination with the waste products, a scenario that renders them useless in different markets.

In Indianapolis, the number of curbside recyclers has increased steadily over the last five years. Consequently, the curbside recycling still has a lot to do in order to expand their recycling processes to large areas. Close to 11% or 28,590 out of 258,000 households still pay for the recycling processes through the public services (Burcham 61). The Indianapolis city does not track recycling from other recycling companies but it handles different households in Indianapolis.

How the Recycling Process Work In Indianapolis

Indianapolis has several companies that carry out the recycling processes. One example of the companies is the plastic Recycling Incorporation that is involved recycling of foam and plastics. The company is involved in the revolution of the trash management and recycling processes. The Plastic Recycling Incorporation has revolutionary machines that enable people at home to recycle their own material waste so that they do not find their way into the landfill (Shu, Xiang, and Baoshan 218). The recycled products are then collected together in the Indianapolis warehouse where they are sorted out and taken to different industries to be used for manufacturing several products. The Plastic Recycling Incorporation also buys the material waste from different cities across California and exporting them to other countries in the Midwest to reduce the carbon footprint in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis-based company is making a lot of money out of the newly established optical sorter, a revolutionized machine that is used in sorting out the recyclable materials. Therefore, instead of using human labor to decipher different forms of plastics, the machine can be used to carry out the process automatically; the machine also carries out the process simultaneously.

The machine carries out the sorting process by first breaking up the bales of recyclable trash. The machine then hit the tumbler to spread out the plastics on the pellenc. The machine also has the near-infrared light that further sorts out the recyclable materials into different categories. The materials are then chopped up into several colorful confetti-like re-grind. The materials are then washed in water into the float tank where the force of gravity is applied to finish the separation process. The Styrofoam is then produced; the foam is lighter and therefore floats on top of the water while the harder plastics sink to the bottom of the tank. The Styrofoam is then dried and placed separately on a clean box ready to be heated. The resulting products consist of millions of pellets that can be sold in tons in different colors. The Indianapolis-based company and other governmental recycling companies produce over six thousand five hundred pounds of pellets per hour. In the Indianapolis recycling processes, the optical sorter is the key. It is a new technology that facilitates the recycling processes, a process that helps in the management of waste products. In Indianapolis, polystyrene recyclable wastes make up to one percent of the materials being recycled by different companies. The above scenario explains why most cities are going for other recyclable items like aluminum cans, bottles, and the metallic wastes. Other cities are also looking at recycling foam but they are not in a position doing it in large scales due to lack of advanced machinery like the optical sorter while cities like Chicago still have no plans. This indicates that Indianapolis has made great steps towards managing the recyclable waste products.

Materials that Can be Recycled In Indianapolis

The Indianapolis city provides single-stream and single-family recycling systems. The above systems allow residents to effectively recycle papers, metals, plastics and glass items in a single roll cart. The recycling services cost six dollars for per month for each household. The Indianapolis public service provides recycling collection services for homes by the use of truck which consists of automated pickups. Indianapolis residents are able to recycle many recyclable materials at the recycling sites provided by the city council. The curbside is usually collected every week. The Indianapolis residents can place the recyclable materials in the available rolling carts provided by the waste service management. The recyclable waste materials accepted in the curbside collection include cardboard, newspapers, and the magazines. The magazines are usually tied and bundled or placed in a paper bag and taken to the public collection centers. The materials that are not accepted in the curbside include shredded paper and pizza boxes. The glass materials accepted in the curbsides include glass materials including glass bottles and glass jars that are in any colors. The recyclable plastic materials in Indianapolis include plastic containers like milk jars, water bottles, soda bottles, shampoo bottles, plastic soap bottles, detergent bottles, cleaner containers, food tubs, and jars. The plastic waste materials not accepted in the curbside collection centers include plastic bags and Styrofoam. Consequently, metals are also accepted in the curbside collection for the recycling purposes. The metallic materials accepted for recycling processes in Indianapolis include tin, aluminum, food cans, and steel beverages. The household hazardous waste materials are also recyclable in the city of Indianapolis. Some of the materials involved in the recycling process include cleaning products, bleach, and ammonia, cooking oil, herbicides and pesticides, lead acid batteries, paints strippers, paint, propane tanks, fluorescent light bulbs and thermostats. The recyclable electronic products in Indianapolis include scanners, mobile phones, keyboards, printers, monitors, laptops, speakers, televisions, video game accessories and CPUs. The electronic products not accepted in the recycling processes include air conditioning units, stun guns, large televisions, electric washers and copy machines.

Recycling Companies Located in Indianapolis

Trinity Metals is a recycling company located in Indianapolis. The company specializes in recycling ferrous metals, magnesium, non-ferrous metals, fiber, plastics and specialty metals. The company is RIOS and R2 certified. The company was founded in the year 2001by one of the directors of the Trinity metals. Trinity metals are associated with the CAN Metals based in Texas. The Plastic Recycling Incorporation is another Indianapolis companies that majors on the recycling of the recyclable waste materials. The company is involved in the recycling of the plastics and foam waste materials. The company is involved in the collection of various waste materials, sorting, and recycling of the plastic waste. The company applies the modern technology in the sorting process. They have optical sorter that uses infrared radiation in the recycling process. There are also other governmental organizations that are involved in the recycling process. The Indianapolis city council is one of the governmental organization that takes part in the material waste collection and sorting process, it also takes part in the recycling of organic wastes like the food materials and plant wastes that are biodegradable, a scenario that help in the environmental conservation.

Works Cited

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