IT’s a very well-known fact that the recycling sector in Zambia and other developing countries has not much been ventured into (exploited) as compared to the developed (industrialised) parts of the world.
Why focus on recycling? Is the question that someone would ask as they are reading this article, the main reason would be that it addresses part of the major governing human factors, which are environmental climate change crisis and economic growth.
Recycling in this context refers to the collection, processing, and reuse of materials that we would dispose of.
Materials ranging from precious metals to broken glass, from old newspapers to plastic products can be re-used; however, this article will limit itself to the re-use of the vegetative (plant) products such as newspapers.
Why invest in recycling?
The benefits of recycling havebeen explained through the media and many scholarly works such as Scientific Journals.
Only a few findings are effected in the developing world the reason for this gap might be due to the fact that non-industrialised (developing) nations have plenty of natural resources as compared to the industrialised ones hence the slackening of implementation of the recycling policies and facilities.
We will expound on a few recycling benefits many of which can reduce on the climate change rate, these are;
Recycling conserves natural resources by reducing the need for new material.
Provide incentives for sustainable forest management through adding value to sawmill wastes and forest residues that would have new value as fuel for wood-energy systems. Environment.
Reduce environmental degradation by reducing emissions of carbon monoxide and particulates and limiting the introduction of solid wastes into streams and rivers, drainage ways, or ground water.
Reduce potential global warming through the use of renewable energy and completing the carbon cycle. As long as forests are managed on a sustained basis through reliable intermediaries such as government agencies.
Recycling saves valuable landfill space, land that must be set aside for dumping trash, construction debris, and yard waste untreated garbage of the kind discarded by homes and small businesses.
Waste from vegetation and agriculture normally is not normally part of waste management unit agencies disposal.
Landfills fill up quickly and acceptable sites for new ones are difficult to find waste disposal policies have to be observed failure to observe these drafted policies has resulted into exposure of neighbours to noise and smells, and the hazard of leaks into underground water supplies.
The two major ways to reduce the need for new landfills are to generate less initial waste and to recycle products that would normally be considered waste.
Recycling reduces pollution because recycling a product creates less pollution than producing a new one. For every ton of newspaper recycled, 7kg less of air pollutants are pumped into the atmosphere.
Recycling can also reduce pollution by recycling safer products to replace those that pollute.
Even though research has shown that recycling in the short term is not always economically profitable or a break-even financial operation prospects have proved that apart from helping to curb climate change it would be a potential sector for creating Jobs (employment) in the non-industrialised nations like it is in industrialised ones if proper policies and investment are harnessed.
Recycling will also help save money if potential landfill sites are used for more productive purposes and by reducing the number of pollution-related illnesses.Installation of wood-waste energy generating systems(machinery)can help to create needed employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas and increase the availability of energy to rural populations to enhance rural development activities.
Recycling saves energy by reducing the need to process new material, which usually requires more energy than the recycling process.
Recycled paper and paperboard requires about 75 per
cent less energy to produce than new products.
By using vegetative generated energy (from plants)improvements in sawmill operating margins might be attained by reducing the costs of energy required for manufacturing operations (thereby contributing to the longevity of the Zambia’s forest industry) in addition to potential increases in revenues through off-site sales of energy products.
Potential benefits of vegetative-energy generatedsystems
This article assesses partly the potential of using vegetative wastegenerated energy systems products such as bio-fuels in Zambia.
Follow-up activities will investigate, in detail, investment opportunities at specific sites.
The site-specific feasibility studies are expected to produce analysis and specifications that could be used to support investment decisions for vegetative generated energy systems at the sites evaluated.
Technology exists and is used routinely in industrialized countries to convert sawmill wastes and forestry wastes into usable energy. Substantial quantities of such potential fuel sources in Zambia are being wasted, and the disposal of this material is contaminating the air, water, including soil, hence contributing to the climate change effects seen globally.