How Does Recycling Prevent Global Warming?

How Does Recycling Help Prevent Global Warming?


When an increased amount of energy gets trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, it causes a slow increase in temperature in the earth’s atmosphere. This increased temperature of the world is generally known as global warming. In short, global warming is the gradual increase of the earth’s average surface temperature.

Introduction: Recycling Prevents Global Warming

When you add energy to any environmental system, it causes a change in the system. As our climate system is interconnected, adding heat energy to the global climate causes a change in the entire ecological system.

Over the course of the nineteenth century, the world has warmed by approximately 1.1°C. A recently published United Nations report examines the effects of warming by 1.5°C or 2°C.

1/2° may not seem like so much of a difference. Still, it can impact global warming, even if only by a few tenths of a degree. In turn, it can potentially result in millions more people being exposed to harmful heatwaves, water shortages, and flooding near coastlines.

As you can see, the climate temperature is changing day by day. Even though global warming poses a threat to humanity, it has the potential to bring about the changes we need. By reducing water and air pollution and saving energy, recycling can help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases like CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Chlorofluorocarbon, etc.

Does Recycling Reduce Global Warming?

Around 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste are produced annually, and 33% of the waste is not handled in an environment-friendly manner.

Recycling is the process of producing new materials or energy from old materials. Recycling is a key component of the modern waste reduction system. According to Project Drawdown, recycling can cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 10.36 – 11.29 gigatonnes between 2020 and 2050.

As we know, recycling creates usable material from old waste products, and there lies the connection between recycling and waste. As a result of this connection, the environment will be able to conserve energy in a more sustainable manner.

Also Read: Waste Management: Principles, Methods and Benefits.

How Does Recycling Prevent Global Warming?

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss how recycling prevents global warming from occurring:

Helps To Covert Trash into Energy

According to the European Environmental Agency, boosting recycling and EfW (Energy from waste) rates will reduce the number of greenhouse gases a country produces.

Following the publication of the EEA research, the European Union implemented proactive waste policies, including promoting recycling and EfW as alternative waste-management solutions. In reality, the European garbage sector reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 34% between 1990 and 2007, by far the greatest reduction of any EU industry.

In its most basic form, recycling includes converting our garbage into energy. Many thermochemical and biochemical reactions take place, which helps in this conversion process. Recycling is providing us with a new source of renewable energy.

Reduce Landfill Waste and Emission

For a long time, transporting our garbage and products to landfills was a simple alternative. However, it requires a large amount of land and damages the ecosystem. Furthermore, it contributes to a larger problem by emitting methane gas.

There are currently 390 million tons of waste produced in the United States each year, which equates to 7 pounds per person each day. Municipal solid waste, or MSW, sometimes known as garbage, is collected weekly from households and businesses and is generally disposed of at a landfill.

Methane is an extremely harmful gas that can trap heat, and it contributes almost 30% to Global Warming. Keeping rubbish out of landfills helps to minimize methane emissions, which in turn helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the environment.

Also Read: Waste Segregation: Process and Importance with Case Studies.

Saves Water

Many things, i.e., paper, need a lot of water. Therefore, the wastewater must be treated before being used in the paper production process. This wastewater treatment causes a lot of greenhouse gas production. However, compared to making paper from raw resources, recycling requires only 20% of the water. That also produces less greenhouse gas than normal.

Helps In a Walk Towards Sustainability

This whole recycling of waste material is a sustainable way of production. Recycling is not dependent on fossil fuels or any other non-renewable sources of energy.

Processes like aerobic digestion can create a source of energy from organic waste materials. In anaerobic digestion, organic matter, such as food waste, is broken down without oxygen. The process is carried out by bacteria, which break down organic matter and produce a mixture of methane gas and CO2 (biogas). Using this gas, you can generate electricity or heat, making anaerobic digestion a renewable energy source. Also, it reduces the volume of waste, making it an environmentally-friendly method of disposing of food waste.

Also Read: Waste Management and Its Importance.

Energy Efficient Process

It takes a lot of energy to extract and process raw materials like wood and oil to manufacture usable goods like metals, paper, and plastic. Recycling frequently saves energy since recycled items generally require significantly less processing to be converted into usable commodities.

It is particularly energy efficient to recycle aluminum. Using aluminum scraps to make aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy required for raw material production.

The energy required to produce 40 aluminum cans is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline; however, this can be greatly reduced by using recycled aluminum scraps.

Also Read: Aluminum Sputtering and its Usage for Environmental Protection.

Protects Biodiversity

Although biodiversity is critical, it is inadequately managed. People do not care about their communities’ birds, reptiles, or animals. They do not recycle, and their garbage ends up in landfills, where it pollutes the earth, water, and air. Changes occur in local species, with animals and birds being displaced by rubbish eaters like rats and crows.

Recycling is critical for halting global biodiversity loss. Recycling may reduce pollution. So, birds and animals still have a place to live, proving that garbage does not destroy biodiversity. Recycling helps to relieve some of the pressure on landfill space.


In conclusion, recycling is among the easiest and most effective ways to prevent global warming. We can make a positive impact on the environment by recycling materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. It can be a useful method of slowing global temperature rises. In a nutshell, it is therefore crucial to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We all need to do our part to keep the earth clean and green, so be sure to do your part.

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