Recycling Bins

The world we live in is bursting at the seams with more people than ever before, and it's causing a big problem. The way we've always done things - using resources in a linear fashion by taking, making, and wasting - is just not cutting it anymore. We're running out of resources and producing more waste than the planet can handle. That's why we need a new approach, one that is sustainable, regenerative, and circular. Hence, the world is gradually shifting away from the old linear model and embracing the new circular economy.

Circular economy is not just an idea, it is a movement and one that is gaining momentum. Countries around the world are pledging to achieve net zero waste or carbon emissions by a certain year. Take Nigeria, for instance, at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), they made a pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2060 and they didn't waste any time putting their words into action. Just a week after the conference, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Climate Change Act, 2021. This landmark legislation seeks to provide a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mainstreaming climate change action into national plans and programs.

The circular economy is changing the way we think about resource consumption and waste generation. In a circular economy, waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and everything is kept in use for as long as possible. One major tool to achieve a net zero waste is through Recycling. Recycling has become one of the most important things we can do to help the environment. It's not just a buzz word anymore, it's an essential part of our daily lives.

It is all about taking materials that have been used and turning them into new products, rather than throwing them away. By doing this, we can help reduce waste, save energy, and preserve natural resources. However, deciding to recycle items is just the first step. You also want to make sure the items are recycled correctly. That's where the humble recycling bin comes in!

Recycle bins are containers that are specifically designed for collecting and separating recyclable materials. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found in many different settings, from homes and offices to schools and public parks. These bins are often labelled with the types of materials that should be placed in them, such as plastic, glass, paper, or metal.

As you walk down the street, you may have noticed an array of bins lined up in a row. These are the usual suspects - the blue bin, the green bin, and the black bin. The recycling bin may seem like a simple receptacle, but it holds the power to transform our waste into valuable resources. It's the hero of sustainability, the champion of circular economies, and the beacon of hope for a cleaner, greener world.

So, what are the main functions of the recycling bin? Well, the main function is to encourage people to recycle by providing a convenient and accessible place to dispose of recyclable materials. When people see a recycle bin, they are more likely to think about recycling and to try to separate their waste. This helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and incinerators, which can have negative environmental impacts.

Recycle bins also play an important role in the recycling process itself. After materials are collected in the bins, they are transported to recycling facilities where they are sorted, cleaned, and processed. This allows the materials to be turned into new products, such as recycled paper, plastic lumber, or aluminium cans. By providing a consistent source of recyclable materials, recycle bins help ensure that the recycling process is efficient and effective.

But wait, there's more! Recycling bins also have social and economic benefits. Recycling can create jobs and stimulate economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing and processing industries. By using recycled materials, businesses can also save money on production costs. Recycling also helps create a sense of community, as people work together to reduce waste and protect the environment.

As the world grapples with the looming shortage of fossil fuels and the devastating environmental impact of neglecting to recycle, it's becoming increasingly clear that having a recycling bin is not just a responsible choice, but an essential one. Many municipalities have even enacted laws mandating the separation of recyclables from regular waste, making recycling not just a moral obligation, but a legal one as well.

By investing in a recycling bin, you're sending a powerful message to your community: that you're committed to preserving our planet for future generations. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint and minimizing the damage caused by unchecked pollution, but you'll also be setting an example for others to follow.

In essence, with each item we toss into the recycling bin, we're diverting waste from the landfill and giving it a second chance at life. Plastic bottles can be reborn as new containers, cardboard boxes can become paper products, and aluminium cans can be transformed into bicycles or airplanes. The possibilities are endless, and all it takes is a little effort to sort our waste. However, what we find is that, everyday people throw things into the wrong bin due to lethargy and confusion of which bin the components should be put in. For example, your typical PET bottle has a plastic container, plastic cap, aluminium foil (which seals the opening in some cases) and paper/nylon printing sleeve, and proper sorting requires each component to go in different bins. 

These bins are usually colour coded to enable identifying which bin belongs to which waste.

 In our next article, we would be discussing some of the colour codes with respect to recycling bins and how they can help you recycle right.

Patience Ehinlaiye

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