Recycle waste to save planet, beat cost of living

People collecting plastic bottles

People collecting plastic waste from Nairobi River for recycling. Waste sorting cab be a way of life.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Of the waste generated by the cities, only 45 per cent is recycled, reused or transformed into a form that can yield an economic or ecological benefit and environmental safety. This is 35 per cent short of the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) target of 80 per cent.

We have been careless so far with how we treat the planet, and it’s time to change how we do things and think. Failure to recycle hampers economic development and contributes to budget depicts, increasing public borrowing. It also poisons our planet.

Owing to the high cost of living in the country and the global climate change effects, we should avoid misuse and unnecessary garbage disposal. It’s prudent to recycle to leave the planet habitable for future generations.

Some of the world’s natural resources are in short supply and, when we recycle, we help in conserving them. For instance, when we recycle paper, we save forests and trees. That reduces greenhouse gas emissions and keeps landfill space free from any type of waste that can’t be recycled. Paper is one of the easiest materials to recycle; it’s a no-brainer!

Recycling takes 70 per cent less energy than producing new paper. The less energy taken to recycle reduces our carbon footprint and emissions. This helps to minimise waste from landfall sites that contribute to climate change. We should thus choose to recycle always to eradicate climate change effects.

Recycling also contributes to the creation of job opportunities and savings, which is a good way to solve the youth’s problems. Most of the youth are lamenting about unemployment yet recycling waste would be one of the straightforward strategies to create jobs. The more we recycle, the more money we can save. Deposit returns can also help to add financial incentives to recycle.

When we think of recycling, we should really think of the whole idea—reduce, reuse and recycle. When we produce less garbage, it helps in giving the land back to nature, hence solving the planet and lowering the cost of living.

Besil Otunga, Migori