ERIC Number: ED159120
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Repairs, Reuse, Recycling--First Steps toward a Sustainable Society. Worldwatch Paper 23.
Two-thirds of what we waste could be reused without important changes in our life-styles. One benefit of recycling would be the diminishing contribution of raw materials prices to inflation. For a sustainable resource policy there are three basic components: waste reduction, waste separation, and waste recovery. The first can be met by producing more durable goods, banning non-refillable containers, increasing charges for pick-up and disposal of waste, designing products which are easy and economical to repair, and ending discriminatory taxes and regulation. Separation of waste in homes and disposal units will facilitate recycling of paper, aluminum, glass, metals, and even plastics, though there are attendant problems of cost and social acceptance. Energy can be produced from waste when valuable materials are removed through chemical and physical processes. The possible impact of future mineral cartels such as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could be reduced through recycling. The amount of energy saved by recycling compared with that expanded on processing virgin materials ranges from eight to 95%. To go from conspicuous consumption to conspicuous frugality specific policies and social commitment are necessary. In this regard the public may be ahead of its leaders. (Author/DL)
Descriptors: Conservation Education, Conservation (Environment), Depleted Resources, Energy Conservation, Obsolescence, Pollution, Recycling, Waste Disposal, Wastes
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 ($2.00, paper cover, quantity discounts available)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.