If you’re like most people, you don’t think a whole lot about waste and recycling programs and how they affect you. You use certain things, open and close certain types of packages, turn on the faucet and water comes out, flush the toilet and water goes down, and so on. You put garbage out at the end of your driveway or in a dumpster at your business. Someone else handles it.
However, if you really want to understand your place in the world, knowing how waste and recycling work on technical, industrial, and practical levels might be something you’re interested in. You need to know wastewater basics, fundamentals of recycling, the differences between business and personal waste, and some of the intricacies of dealing with food. Going through those categories, you’ll get a much better concept of how those programs work.
Start with the processes of wastewater treatment. You know what happens when water goes down your sink drain and into the sewer system? Do you know what happens when rainwater washes down into the pipes and areas under city streets? Do you know how water is filtered and recycled back into the main water supply? If not, take a few minutes and look through the basics of all those ideas. You may be impressed by just what amazing engineering feats they are.
In different cities, towns, and areas, recycling centers are set up differently. Private companies can work with community, state, and federal officials to figure out how to collect recycling and then what to do with it. There are many misconceptions about how the recycling process works, and there’s a big difference between having people individually separate materials versus when everything gets collected together.
Business and Personal Differences
Recycling means very different things depending on if you’re doing it on a personal household level or a business level. When business managers set up office recycling programs, the intent is to cut down on garbage waste. However, there are rules that they have to follow so that they can send more substantial amounts of recycling to the appropriate centers in the community. The more organized a business is, the better chance that recyclable items will actually end up being reused once they get reprocessed.
Dealing With Food
It’s fascinating looking into how food is dealt with respecting recycling and waste. Stores have to sell food in a certain amount of time because of federal regulations. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the food is bad. For example, you will often see cans of food that have expiration dates that are years ago, but the food is so good. It’s very interesting territory for grocery stores and restaurants to figure out what to do with food that they can no longer sell, but that isn’t bad for anyone. Different countries and even different companies are working on different ways to handle that particular style of situation.