Recycling is a three-part series of activities, to recover, reprocess, and reuse materials that are considered “waste,” thus reducing their burden on the environment. These materials come from household use, industrial processes, commerce, and agriculture; they typically include glass, paper, wood, aluminum cans, metal scrap, some plastics, and various organic materials. Through a variety of processes, waste materials are recovered and reprocessed to become substitutes for raw materials obtained from natural resources (such as petroleum, minerals, trees, and soil).

Besides economizing on the use of natural resources, recycling can help reduce quantities of solid waste sent to landfills and can reduce pollution caused by waste disposal: Incineration consumes energy and creates air pollution; landfills contaminate water and also create air contamination. These financial and environmental ...

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