category : Responsible waste management, recycling and environmentally friendly behaviour
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – these three ‘R’ words are an important part of sustainable living, as they help to cut down on the amount of waste we have to throw away.
It’s really simple!
Using the 3 ‘R’s also helps to minimise the amount of space needed for landfill sites, where waste materials are disposed of.
Recycle means to sort and collect rubbish in order to treat it and produce useful materials that can be used again.
An average family in a developed country produces more than 1 ton of garbage per year. This amount is increasing. Garbage is delivered to the field, to certain places (dumps) or in special kilns for burning garbage. Its combustion produces energy that can be used to heat water or as electricity.
Recycling an aluminium box is its way from the store through the home to the recycling site (recycling plant).
Recycling is a process that takes place in recycling plants. Garbage is sorted, then transported by special transport to certain places – landfills; from there it is pressed and placed in square bundles for easier processing. The waste is then exported to the appropriate recycling plant.
The creation of organic fertilizer in a special enclosure (compost) is done through food residues, residues in the yard.
Various ways to support recycling and reuse to: Reduce the use of: food waste (donations of leftover food to shelters and special food surplus banks); eliminating the use of disposable utensils made of plastic); following a guide on how and where to donate second-hand items (clothes, furniture, electronics, cars, appliances, etc.); purchasing products that are made from recycled materials in order to promote the recycling process; sorting and presentation for recycling of household materials that pose a danger (batteries, fluorescent lamps, car batteries).
We can make a donation of clothes that we no longer wear or are small, books that we have read, electronic tools and devices that we do not use, toys that are no longer interesting to us.
The materials have a certain period of life. They then decompose to their main parts. Some have a short degradation period, others an extremely long one. The paper decomposes almost immediately, it is easy to recycle. Plastic decomposes in 200 to 400 years. Batteries decompose in 1 century (1000 years). Glass breaks down the longest – more than a million years. One family produces about 20 million tons of garbage a year in which these materials exist. That is why we must be extremely careful how and how much we use, recycle and reuse.
Biodegradation is a chemical process in which materials are dissolved by bacteria or other biological elements. If a material is biodegradable, it means that it can be consumed by microorganisms and converted into compounds that are natural. This is an important process in ecology and waste management. Biodegradable elements are considered environmentally friendly because they can be converted back into elements found in nature.
Organic materials, such as those from plants and animals, can be broken down aerobically (with oxygen) or anaerobically (without oxygen).
Here are some interesting facts about biodegradation, which is a natural process in nature. These objects are thrown into the ocean. Their degradation time is as follows:
Apple: 1-2 months
Plain paper: 1-3 months
Paper napkin: 2-4 weeks
Cardboard box: 2 months
Cotton fabric: 5 months
Cardboard milk box with plastic coating: 5 years
Wax-coated milk box: 3 months
Tin cans: 50-100 years
Aluminium boxes: 150-200 years
Glass bottles: remain undecomposed forever
Plastic bags: 10-20 years
Soft plastic (bottle): 100 hours