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Why we should recycle - and how is it done

Population growth is a drain on our global resources

Despite the education and awareness of global warming and the need to conserve Earths precious resources people world wide continue to live as if there is no limit to our space and to our resources.

At least part of the rise in global consumption is the result of population growth. The U.N. projects that world population will increase 41 percent by 2050, to 8.9 billion people, with nearly all of this growth in developing countries. (click on map below to increase size)

The population problem isn't just a matter of the number of people. People consume food, fresh water, wood, minerals, and energy as we go about our daily lives. And producing food, pumping groundwater, harvesting wood, mining minerals, and burning fuel all deplete our resource base and produce pollution.

Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.6 planets (sourcefile: provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year.

The United States, with less than 5 % of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources—burning up nearly 25 % of the coal, 26 % of the oil, and 27 % of the world’s natural gas.


Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland

Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species.

Seventy percent of Earth's land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes. Deforestation also drives climate change.


Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They produce vital oxygen and provide homes for people and wildlife. Many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion people rely on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter

Some staggering facts:

Some 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year—equivalent to 48 football fields every minute

>If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rain forests on the earth.

>20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazonian rain forest

>Almost half of world’s timber and up to 70% of paper is consumed by Europe, United States and Japan alone.

>Trees are important constituents of the ecosystem by absorbing carbon.

>The paper industry is fourth largest in producing greenhouse gas thereby majorly contributing to deforestation.

Take action

  • A lot of paper and cardboard is used unnecessarily for packing. This means more tree felling.
  • Re- use paper and plastic bags to discourage deforestation.
  • Use canvas or paper bags as another alternative.
  • Pick products which require less packaging.
  • Be creative and mail manufacturers telling them to use eco-friendly products. Show them your deforestation knowledge by highlighting certain important facts using statistics.
  • Sign effective petitions that work and help reduce deforestation.
  • Support eco-friendly companies by buying products that promise more durability in an inexpensive way.
  • Be active and plant trees- it can be at your homes, backyards or you can join any organization keen on stopping deforestation.
  • Reduce the consumption of beef to tone down the pressure to clear more forests for cattle.
  • Support organizations that care about the environment and are having regular events


Recycling only paper is not enough however: the recycling efforts throughout the world needs to increase drastically if we want to see a visible difference in our landfills, resources and global warming.

Everyone today has heard of how important it is to recycle and most cities offer a recycling program, but what exactly is recycling and how beneficial is it really to us and the environment?

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and put in a landfill (or incinerated) and turning them into new products.


  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations
  • Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries

For every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month’s time and almost 1250 Liters of oil

By recycling 1 plastic bottle you not only save it from remaining anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill but you also save the environment from the emissions that are emitted producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that new bottle.

Odd as it seems there are many people who do not realize that the plastic bottles our water comes in is made out of oil!

This is the same oil that is used to make gasoline. It's the same oil that is in such high demand and is not an unlimited resource. And certainly not a renewable resource.

Today the most common products recycling programs are collecting are paper products, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum.

Taking just a moment to put your newspaper, soda can and glass spaghetti jar in the recycling bin will save everyone years in environmental harm, from needing mining/production of new materials, over crowded landfills and the depletion of our natural resources.

By not recycling at least our glass or aluminum we increase the demand of power usage, water and oil usage and landfill usage; glass takes up to 4000 years to decompose in a landfill yet can be recycled indefinitely.

Recycling can be done at home as well as in conjunction with city programs. Many scrap yards pay for scrap metal including the soda cans and soup cans we use every day

Get Creative by reusing materials

Useful items can be made from our everyday trash; the cardboard tubes left over from paper towel and toilet paper can make useful storage containers for our extra extension cords and prevents a tangled mess in the Christmas lights.

If your going to throw these out don't just throw it in the rubbish bin, put it the recycling bin or better yet donate it to schools and art projects in your area

Start today

Recycling is a very environmentally green activity; however, there are ways that you can make it greener as well as building a strong beginning if you do not currently recycle.

Spread the word

Share what you know. If you notice abundant trash in your neighborhood start spreading the word about your experience with recycling and if there isn’t already one in place strive to get a city recycling pick up program started

The fact is many of our resources as well as our Earth is not renewable and we have to start taking control of the world we live in by beginning with ourselves

Paper and Carton recycling

Each ton (1000 kilo's) of recycled paper can save 17 trees,1600 liters of oil, 2.2938 cubic meters of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 26500 liters of water.

This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution

To recycle paper you need sweet water and for this reason paper and carton collected in Bahrain is send abroad.

Mainly India

The 17 trees saved can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Recycling paper is the process of taking used paper products and creating new paper products from them

The process of recycling paper is pulping to separate the fibers, screening to remove contaminates and large pulp fibers

They clean it by mixing the pulp in a cleaning solution and spinning at high speeds then passing air through the slurry to create a foam that the ink left in paper and other contaminates will stick to and be removed, bleaching and finally the paper can then be made

Paper plates and paper towels, computer and copy paper and even toilet paper can be made using recycled materials.

What is saved by using recycled materials to make paper versus raw materials is first and most obviously our beautiful green forests but also energy and landfill space as well as air and water pollution.

Approximately 90% of paper pulp is made from wood and over 40 percent of wood harvested goes to making paper products

Many paper companies raise trees for paper production; however, only about 16 percent of paper pulp is from these farmed trees

It is estimated that recycling about half of the world’s paper could save about 20 million acres of forest.

Eliminating just the paper taken to the landfills would nearly double the landfill life; yet many homes and offices still dispose of their paper refuse in the daily trash.

In Bahrain there are several places where paper and carton can be dropped off. Most supermarkets have containers too and some compounds have paper recycling projects and mosques collect paper too for making new Qurans

You can take the initiative to help reduce this waste by recycling and reducing your usage of paper products by using used scrap paper for notes, bringing a ceramic cup for your coffee and using cloth towels for clean ups instead of paper towels.

Instead of printing the office e-mails or office memos, do all of your editing before a document is printed and use smaller font with smaller margins to fit more words on each page thus reducing the amount of pages needed.

If your printer has the option you can also print on both sides of the page. Most importantly though, make sure the paper you use finds its way to the recycling center instead of the landfill

For locations of recycling containers go to the recycle where page

Plastic Recycling

Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 100,000,000 sea creatures every year!

Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator

Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W lightbulb for up to 6 hours

Demand for plastics outstrips supply 3 times over

25 recycled PET bottles can be used to make an adult's fleece jacket - yes you read that right clothes can be made from plastic bottles

Mechanical recycling is the process of recycling plastics by:

  • sorting
  • shredding
  • washing
  • melting
  • pelletizing
  • Sorting is mainly done automatically with a manual polish;
  • Plastic is either melted down directly and molded into a new shape, or shredded into flakes then melted down before being processed into granulates

What type of plastic can be recycled and what do the symbols mean

Click on the picture to enlarge it

Remember - the best bag for your shopping is a strong, reusable bag

This is because taking a disposable, single use bag when not needed is unsustainable and a waste of precious resources.

Either ban flimsy plastic bags completely or make the customers pay for them money could be used to set up green areas all around Bahrain.

Demanding that recyclable bags be replaces with bio-degradable bags will not reduce litter or the amount of waste in our landfills. It will however diminish recycling efforts. As they make the plastic weaker and so can only be used for limited products, they are also more difficult to sell to manufacturers.

Biodegradable plastic currently on the market will only degrade in a professionally-managed large-scale composting facility.

They will not breakdown in the natural environment, in a home composting device or in a landfill.

How do they recycle industrial waste (machinery made of plastic)

Almost all kind of plastic machineries can be remolded be it an auxiliary machinery, used plastic blow machinery, used plastic molding injection machinery, used plastic printing and lamination machinery, used plastic processing machinery etc. All of these can be recycled, re-built and re-used.

The most obvious benefit to this method is the fact that all plastic is recyclable, not just matching forms.

But criticism rises from the energy costs of rotating the drums, and heating the post-melt pipes

On the page recycle where you find the number of the company in Bahrain that collects plastic for recycling, they take all types even styrofoam.

Litterlouts watch out April 2019 the Shura Council yesterday passed a new Cleanliness Law which stipulates fines between BD50 and BD300 for all types of littering.

FINES of up to BD300 will be imposed for littering, improperly disposing of household rubbish and urinating or spitting in the street.

It comes as the Shura Council yesterday passed a new Cleanliness Law which stipulates fines between BD50 and BD300 for all types of littering.

It also includes fines of BD500 to BD1,000 for transporting rubbish or dangerous substances without a licence or proper equipment, and gives the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry the right to tow vehicles that are abandoned, put up for sale or for scrap at unlicensed spaces.

Shura members yesterday approved all amendments presented by parliament after the government explained the new law was vital as offences were currently being tackled under municipal administrative rules with a flat municipal fine of BD10.

The law has moved back and forth between the two legislative chambers for the last four years due to differences but after yesterday’s final approval it will be referred to His Majesty King Hamad for ratification.

However, it will not be fully implemented until Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf draws up executive by-laws within six months of the law being published in the Official Gazette.

The Manama Municipality has already recruited volunteers from the general public wearing campaign badges to approach violators, get their details and report them as authorized Cleanliness Trustees

Among the trustees' duties is also to log offenses by recording the vehicle registration number, type of plate and place where the offense took place, and the date and time and irregularities perpetrated

The information could also include the name and address of violating institutions.

Bahraini citizens over 18 years are still being invited to volunteer by contacting the municipality on 17277364, 17259964 or 17240007

They can also fax 17254260, e-mail or mail PO Box 20006. Volunteers will undergo a two-hour training.

Aluminum and metal recycling

A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days.

That's closed loop recycling at its finest!

Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled items but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours or the equivalent of 1.9 liters of gasoline.

An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now

There is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled.

In Bahrain you find a lot of really poor laborers that scavenge the streets for aluminum cans to supplement their meager income

Some of them go so far as to rip open garbage bags in residential areas in their search for cans, or go to recycling skips removing them.

There are many shops in Bahrain that buy them up as it is one of the easiest to recycle and many are found along the roads of Bahrain, throw out of cars by those to lazy to put a small bag in their car for waste.

Be kind and if you already separate your waste put the cans in a separate bag or open box or maybe give them to any person that you see who collects them to get a few extra fills.

Recycling of metal items is also very easy

There are many scrap collectors that drive around and remove any metal objects that have been dumped in the street or deserted area.

Many people don't think twice about loading their car with broken items and just unloading it (illegally) anywhere, they should realize that one person's trash is another person's treasure.

Any broken items in our household made from metal or aluminum are stored till we have a decent amount, the kids then call one of the scrap-collectors and sell it to them for extra money.

They like buying up old cars for a few dinars that can not be used anymore, strip it and sell the metal shell.

In Bahrain there are quite a few companies buying up big and small quantities find the details on the recycle where page.

Litter dropping experiment bahrain by compukhalid March 2015

The man behind the idea later wrote online: “Amazingly, two hours were needed for the first person to stop and say something.”




Glass recycling

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials

A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.

Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 175 Kg of waste for every ton of glass that is made

If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%

Modern glass containers are manufactured using very precise, complex and highly controlled technology.

However, the raw materials used are simple and abundant and the basic process was in fact first used by the Egyptians around 3000 BC!

Click on image to enlarge

There are four main ingredients:

  • cullet (recycled glass)
  • sand
  • soda ash
  • limestone

As much recycled glass is used as possible as this enables the other materials to melt at a lower temperature.

The color of the glass is controlled by the iron content and the addition of minor coloring agents.

Even though basic ingredients are used in vast quantities, accurate weighing and mixing to achieve precise proportions is absolutely critical. This procedure is carried out electronically in the batch house which supplies the mix to the furnace.

A typical furnace within the glass container industry will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year producing around 300 tons of glass a day! This production of glass is continuous with furnaces' lifetime being approximately 10 years.

Up to 90% recycled glass is mixed with raw materials and fed into the furnace where the recycled glass remelts and becomes pure and pristine again.

This cycle can be repeated an infinite number of times and the quality of the glass will never deteriorate. Each time bottles and jars go round this cycle they generate environmental benefits:

  • 345 kwh of energy is saved for every ton recycled glass used
  • 225 kg of CO2 is saved for every ton used
  • 1.2 tons of raw materials quarrying is saved for every ton used
  • 1.3 m3 of landfill is saved for every ton used

100% of recycled glass can be used to make new glass bottles and jars, without any loss in quality. Glass containers made with high levels of recycled glass are as pure and clear as those made solely from virgin raw materials

While the primary end product of recycled glass is new glass bottles and jars, there are some other uses for recycled glass, including:

  • Fiberglass production (second most popular use of post-consumer glass behind beverage containers)
  • Frictionator for matches and ammunition
  • Abrasives in sand-blasting
  • Ingredient in concrete and highway reflective paint
  • Ceramic tiles and picture frames around the house
  • Providing additional sand to beaches that have been depleted by erosion

Landfill space calculated :

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