Recycling and Alternatives

Refers to AQA A2 Geography

World Cities Option

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  • Recycling and Alternatives
    • REDUCTION
      • The BEST WAY of managing waste is to prevent it.
      • Can reduce packaging.
      • Use fewer carrier bags - get people to do this by charging for them.
        • 0.15 euro cents per bag in Ireland since 2002.
    • RE-USE
      • Reusing plastic bottles/ jam jars etc. has long been accepted.
      • 'Bag for life' is a good example of a scheme that encourages people to reduce waste and reuse their shopping bags until they wear out, at which point they are replaced.
    • RECYCLING
      • Paper, glass, cans, plastic, clothes etc. can usually recycled if they can be collected economically.
      • Start up prices of recycling very high, and the market value of the recycled material produced may be low.
      • Some households do not bother to sort their waste.
      • The proportion of household recycling is increasing.
      • 26% waste was recycled by 2005.
      • Recycling plastic bottles is difficult if a profit is desired.
      • Recycling has hidden costs e.g. collection, processing, cleaning.
    • ENERGY RECOVERY
      • Waste can be converted into energy by incineration, but adds to carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutions to the atmosphere.
      • Many incinerators have been closed down in recent years due to a fears about the pollution they cause.
      • Some modern incinerators generate electricity so are considered, to some extent, a more sustainable option.
      • 17 licenced municipal incinerators in the UK.
    • COMPOSTING
      • On a small scale, organic waste can be used to make compost to fertilise farmland and gardens.
      • Anaerobic digestion is an advanced form of composting that is becoming an increasingly popular option. The gases produced can be burnt to produce electricity.
        • Expensive to set up
        • Popular in Germany and Denmark.
    • LANDFILL
      • Waste is dumped in old hollows or quarries - convinient and CHEAP
      • Unsightly - a threat to groundwater and river quality as toxic chemicals leach out.
      • Produces methane gas - global warming.
      • £40 billion a year to dispose of nappies alone.
      • Running out of space for landfill - reported in 2006 that the UK only had nine years worth of landfill space left.
      • Landfill is becoming increasingly expensive, leading to a rise in intrest in 'pay-as-you-throw' schemes.
        • Households are charged according to waste they produce, butmay lead to fly-tipping.

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