When it is about our usage and concern for natural resources, it all comes down to how much of them are left. In order to sustain these natural resources for a prolonged period of time, we can, by plain logic, either produce more of them or bring about a reduction in their consumption. Now the most widely used primary sources like coal, petroleum and natural gasses cannot be produced easily since their production is principally natural and takes a large time to complete. It is pretty clear that we cannot possibly maintain the Yield factor and therefore should mainly focus on the reduction of consumption factor. The interesting part here is that we actually do have a resource with a healthy Yield factor that can help us achieve the much desired reduction of consumption. The resource I am talking about here is waste. With one of the most healthy production rates, waste is a clearly a very well qualified resource.
Waste Management & Resource Recovery
Waste Management includes collection, processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials produced by human activities. Resource recovery is a part of this process that deals with extraction of usable resources from waste materials.
Why and How
The main aim of resource recovery is to reduce the rate of consumption of natural resources; this is achieved through methods like recycling, composting and direct energy generation.
Recycling brings about re- of waste materials like empty beverage cans, copper wires, jute bags etc. These materials can be reprocessed to produce new usable products. Biological processing methods like composting decomposed organic wastes into usable items, which can be used for agricultural processes. Methane gas produced during this decomposition can also be trapped and used as a fuel for cooking.
The Waste Management and Resource Recovery idea got a big boost when it was added as a major component in a business’ ability to maintaining ISO14001 accreditation. Moreover, the companies are being encouraged to promote environmental efficiency through many new laws and regulations.
While the alternative energy sources are gaining strength day by day by trying to replace the majorly used primary resources, waste management can be a distinguishing factor that can keep us afloat in the hunt for reduction of their consumption.