Recycling is a process of using waste materials into new products to prevent wastage of useful materials, reduces the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce usage of energy, reduces mainly land pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal. Recycling is a key component of reducing modern waste and is the third component of the 3R concepts that are “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” .
The recycling symbol is recognized symbol used to designate recyclable materials internationally. It is composed of three chasing arrows that form an unending loop.
Importance of recycling
Recycling is essential to both to human beings and its surrounding environment.
Some facts about how rubbish that we produce is constantly increasing :
i. Population is being increased and that means there are more people to create waste.
ii. The wealth is being increased and that means people are buying more and more products and creating more waste ultimately.
iii. Lifestyle is being changed, such as consuming more fast food nowadays, and that means we create additional waste that is non-biodegradable.
iv. Developing of new technological products and new packaging are being created, most of the materials in these products that are non-biodegradable.
Importance to people
Around the world, recycling is important to cities and to the people living here and there in these cities.
i. Generally preserving natural resources is essential for the future generations. The need for more raw materials is reduced by recycling; it also minimizes the use of energy, hence its better preserving natural resources for the future.
ii. Financial expenditure is being reduced in the economy. The products made from the raw materials costs much more than if they were made from recycling products.
Waste is important to be recycle as it has a huge negative impact on natural environment .
i.Recycling helps to minimize the pollution caused by waste as these waste can release hazardous chemicals and greenhouse gases to the environment.
ii. Deforestation can cause habitat destruction and global warming. the need for raw materials can be reduced by recycling (e.g : paper recycling).
iii. When products are being made from raw materials, large amount of energy are being used. Recycling requires less energy and hence it helps to preserve natural resources.
Recycling in Mauritius
It has been noted that up until very lately in Mauritius the recycling of waste from household has been referred to a small quantity and which are being likely to be neglected . Certainly sorting of waste and recycling is unavoidable for our glasses, tins, plastics and papers. It is true that, some of the larger hypermarkets are interested with plastic bin for collection and recycling, but what about the other waste we produced?
But this situation is being changed with the act of introducing of in 2007 the NGO of Mission Verte. There is now a proliferation of about 20 recycling centers in Mauritius. The primordial aim of the NGO is to raise consciousness of the public about the 3R that is to reduce, re-use and recycle the waste of household. Their efforts aimed greatly at encouraging the sorting and deposit of papers, cardboards, tin, plastics and glasses by the individuals for gathering and collected by local companies for the process recycling, but they are also keen to promote the compost methods of the green waste by the public.
Mare Chicose, created in the 1990s, is home to the island’s only household waste landfill site. However, this landfill is under pressure due to the ever increasing amount of waste material created. An estimated 375,000 tonnes of solid waste were created in 2003 (1,200 tonnes per day), which is estimated to grow to 418,000 tonnes in 2014 and 510,000 tonnes in 2034. To enlighten the situation the government has suggested the establishment of an incineration plant which would handle around three-quarters of waste created and would generate electricity. The obstacle is that the waste in Mauritius, which is largely green (garden waste, vegetables, etc.), is not suitable for incineration, and also that the chimney would have major negative public health, environmental and economic impacts. Environmental agencies in Mauritius recommend that minimizing the creation of waste by enabling the recycling and by composting green waste; will expand the lifespan sufficiently landfill site, removing the importance for an incinerator or for further landfill sites.
Sorting of waste
Bins have been provided in many places in Mauritius to correct sorting of waste. The Mission Verte organization provides information leaflets about the signs on these bins.
Materials that can be recycle in Mauritius
Thin cardboards and paper – Thin cardboard: bristol paper, for example: biscuits boxes, , cigarette packets, medicine boxes etc.
Paper:Magazine, circulars,newspaper, envelope and drawing papers , exercise books and telephone books.
Note that milk, soap cartons, juice, carbon paper or soiled paper, wallpapers and wax papers, metalized and plasticized paper (chocolate or some candies wrappers) cannot be recycle.
plastic- jar, bottle, container and pots of ‘all’ plastic types
All types of plastic can now be deposited at: Grand-Bay , Tamarin and Forest-sides.
Only plastic bottles can be deposited at Floreal, Curepipe, Flacq, Mahebourg, Phoenix and Trianon.
aluminium cans and metal- Aluminium cans are discarded in the plastic section
Note that Preserves cans, jam cans, aerosols, metallic tray, aluminium pans or crockery cannot be recycle in Mauritius.
cardboards- All packaging and boxes made of ‘corrugated cardboard’ can only be recycle in Mauritius.
Note: Dirty containers of pizza, paperboard, or other food containers cannot be recycle in our island.
glass – All glass bottle, jars and pot can be recycle except mirror, porcelains, light bulb and ceramic which cannot be recycle in Mauritius.
(glass can only be recovered at Curepipe depot)