The issue of whether to recycle or not is a long standing debate that is still taking the center stage in the world today. Many individuals, scholars and politicians are still arguing on whether recycling should be a thing of the past. Several theories have been put on the advantages and disadvantage of recycling. The process involves conversion of waste materials into a form that is usable. It is done to prevent wastage of materials that can be of great use in the future. Some people argue that the process reduces usage of energy, air pollution and also pollution of water streams.
Houston is one of the major and big cities in the state of Texas. It therefore, houses many industries which produce numerous amounts of waste materials. The population in the city is also on the rise and hence pollution is also on the rise. The city houses one of the largest recycling companies in the United States of America. The company by the name Waste Management is charged with the task of recycling different kinds of waste from the city. However, is recycling worth the cost and effort put in place to make it effective? Many waste management companies continue to educate citizens on the wastes to recycle and those that dont need recycling. However it is essential to perform a cost benefit analysis before deciding on whether to recycle or not.
Concession and refutation
The effects of recyclable waste to the environment are not something to undermine. The wastes bring a lot of air and water pollution which in turn brings a lot of cost in expenses in health services to those affected. Recycling is therefore worth it. On the other hand, the waste once it undergoes recycling, it still exits the process as a waste and hence its not worth the cost. However, the costs outweigh the benefits and hence it is better for the city to terminate recycling processes.
First, most of the waste materials in Houston are metal products from the metal welding factories present there. The city has several scrap metal recycling factories and among the largest in the whole country. The scrap metals are mainly those of copper, aluminum, nickel and, iron. The cost of setting such a facility is worth around one hundred million US Dollars which is a very high value. Taking into account that the waste once recycled, the bulk of it still comes out as waste it is not worth. It is better to set up large disposal bins or dumping sites throughout the city so as to cut down on such costs.
Second, the rates of recycling in Houston and in across America are still very low. Americans have been performing recycling for the last forty years to date. The recycling involves that of glass, plastics, cardboard and cans. The recycling rates throughout the country remain at around thirty percent. The statistics therefore show that the recycling processes in the country are still not effective. Following that trend and statistics it is therefore a loss trying to continue recycling waste. More and more money and resources will go into waste as a result.
Recycling is a cumbersome process. It requires many bins, trucks and routes to efficiently implement the process. The cost of putting up effective route is very high on the other hand. It requires construction of many roads and infrastructure for it to be efficient. Roads and infrastructure are among the projects that require a lot of funding. The city of Houston will have to ask assistance from the state government to implement the project. Bins on the other hand are very difficult and expensive to purchase. Houston is a very large city with high population and therefore will require setting up of hundreds of bins CITATION Eli13 \l 1033 (Daigneau). The cost of such bins is very high which means a lot of county resources will go into the buying of the bins. Trucks on the other hand are one of the expensive types of motor vehicles to purchase. One has to part with several thousands of US Dollars to purchase one truck. The whole city requires many trucks to sere different routes so as to make the process efficient. All the above factors lead to raise in the operation costs and greenhouse gas emissions which are difficult to recover.
In the United States of America, it costs approximately twenty eight Dollars per ton to landfill waste. On the other hand, it costs approximately a hundred and forty seven Dollars per ton to perform recycling CITATION uni11 \l 1033 (maryland). Taking an example of the state of New Jersey, which is not that far from Texas, proves it all. The profit from sale of recyclable goods is around 2.45 million US Dollars. On the other hand, the cost of sorting, collecting and payments of interest on the facility is a total of three million US Dollars. It therefore shows it is more wise and advantageous to do away with recycling. As time goes by, the time, energy and money spent on recycling will continue to increase and it will be no longer possible to conduct the process.
Another example is the city of New York. The city has a high population just like Houston since both are very large cities. The cost of recycling in the city is around two hundred and forty US Dollars per ton of waste CITATION GER15 \l 1033 (SEALEY). The figure is double of what the cost of just throwing it in a landfill should be. The materials mainly undergoing the process are the same as those in Houston. They mainly consist of metal, glass and plastics. Why not do away with it or just throw away the waste?
Finally, recycling is not a very clean process. Recycling factories are one of the major sources of emission of toxic gases. They also generate other solid and liquid wastes that are very toxic. Once the pollutants enter the environment and atmosphere, humans inhale the toxic gases and causes serious diseases. Cancer being one the most deadly diseases in the world is mainly caused by the metal wastes and toxic gases. The diseases are very expensive to treat and therefore a further increase in the cost.
Waste recycling is a good process to reduce environment pollution throughout the universe. It eliminates several pollutants from the environment and makes it suitable for human life. However, spending a lot of money and resources in recycling programs makes no sense. The money should be invested in higher priority programs. The programs include education, healthcare and cost-effective initiatives towards the environment. The health and environmental benefits of recycling will never be higher than the costs. It is of more advantage to forget about recycling.
Daigneau, Elizabeth. "governing the states and localities." Are Recycling Bins Creating More Trash? december 2013.Print
maryland, university of. "interpolations." Cost-Benefit Analysis of Recycling in the United States: Is Recycling Worth It? 2011.PrintSEALEY, GERALDINE. Is Recycling Worth the Trouble, Cost? newyork, 8th march 2015.
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