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Recycling - Process, Legislation, Policies, Recycling Collection Programs, Recyclable Materials, Composting, Preparing The Compost

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Reason to Retrovirus

Recycling is a method of reusing materials that would otherwise be disposed in a landfill or incinerator. Discarded materials that contain glass, aluminum, paper, or plastic can be recycled by collecting and processing them into raw materials that are then used to manufacture new products. Recycling has many benefits: it saves money in production and energy costs, helps to conserve stocks of virgin resources, and decreases the amount of solid waste that must be disposed in landfills or incinerators.

The concept of recycling is not a new one. At the turn of the twentieth century, about 70% of the cities in the United States had programs to recycle certain useful materials. During World War II, 25% of the waste stream was recycled and reused. In 1960, however, only 7% of the waste stream was recycled, but since the early 1970s this has risen along with environmental consciousness, and the recycling rate was about 17% in 1990.


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