Why Does Recycling Help Conserve Energy?

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Recycling is a technique of waste disposal that reuses materials discarded from homes and in industries. Recycling of materials such as used paper, glass, aluminum or steel helps us conserve energy. This is because recycling lowers the need to use energy for activities such as extraction of raw materials, transportation and manufacturing.

Extraction

  • Metals like aluminum and steel can be recycled over and over again. Using recycled aluminum and steel in manufacturing industries that consume such metals keeps the extraction costs of iron and aluminum ores low. Extraction of virgin ore is an energy-intensive process.

Transportation

  • Transportation of raw ores extracted from mines and wood pulp to industries consumes energy. Recycling metals such as aluminum, steel and paper reduces the transportation costs.

Manufacturing

  • Energy consumption can be reduced when recycled materials are used in the manufacturing process. Reusing old glass to manufacture new glass helps in energy conservation because soda ash, lime and sand do not need to be processed.

Conservation of Trees

  • Recycling paper helps conserve trees. Trees are the main ingredients in the paper-production process. When paper is recycled, forests are preserved.

Reduced Reliance on Oil

  • Conserving energy by using recycled products reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Petroleum is the main ingredient of plastic manufacturing industry. Using recycled plastic conserves this non-renewable resource.

References

  • Photo Credit Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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