Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2949




Recycling is a series of activities that include collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste , sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers, and manufacturing raw materials into new products. It is the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products. For many years direct recycling by producers of surplus and defective materials constituted the main form of recycling. However, indirect recycling, the recycling of materials after their use by consumers, became the focus of activity in the 1990s. For some time, most waste has been deposited in  landfillsor dumps. Landfills are filling up, however, and disposal of wastes in them has led to environmental problems. A growing alternative to such disposal is recycling. The individual consumer plays a large part in recycling. Products that are recycled in large quantities include paper and paperboard, ferrous metals,...

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© Springer-Verlag 2008