There are several definitions for the term “waste”. Some of these include;

  1. to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words.
  2. to fail or neglect to use: to waste an opportunity.
  3. to destroy or consume gradually; wear away: The waves waste the rock of the shore.
  4. to wear down or reduce in bodily substance, health, or strength; emaciate; enfeeble: to be wasted by disease or hunger.
  5. to destroy, devastate, or ruin: a country wasted by a long and futile war.
  6. to be consumed, spent, or employed uselessly or without giving full value or being fully utilized or appreciated.
  7. to become gradually consumed, used up, or worn away: A candle wastes in burning.

Waste may come in the form of a solid or a liquid. Some examples of waste are plastic bottles, scrap iron, paper, oil, styrofoam, and contaminated water. Waste can be classified as bio-degradable or non-biodegradable. Bio degradable simply means that the waste can be broken down and degraded. Examples include paper, wood, and fruit. Non-biodegradable means that the waste cannot be broken down or degradable. Examples of this include plastic, bottles, and old machinery.

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Some definitions for recycling include;

  1. to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees.
  2. to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater.
  3. to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days.
  4. to cause to pass through a cycle again: to recycle laundry through a washing machine.
  5. to pass through a cycle again; repeat a process from the beginning.
  6. to undergo reuse or renewal; be subject to or suitable for further use, activity, etc.: The industry will recycle and become profitable once more.
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The effects of waste
(The negative)

Waste can affect our health when air pollutants and chemicals are emitted into the air as a result of poor waste management. Countless amounts of chemicals such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide effect the composition of our atmosphere and our environment. Scientists suspect that the emission of these hazardous chemicals into our air can pose a potential threat to our health, possibly causing cancer and other harmful diseases.
Waste can also affect socio-economic conditions. Since much of modern day production causes waste material and pollution, this may cause a future halt in production. Sooner or later, society will be unable to continue with its methods of manufacturing due to the high levels of waste.

Waste also affects the climate. With the rising of global temperatures, sea levels are continuing to rise. This changing of climate directly affects forestry, crops, and water supply. Waste also affects the eco-system. Plants and animals, for example, will experience the negative effects of poor waste management.

The effects of recycling

Recycling can help relieve the amount of waste there is in society today. If more people were to recycle and use things more resourcefully, we would have less waste.

Ways that can help include;

· Purchasing products in bulk
· Using reusable containers
· Recycling all plastic, tin, and cardboard/paper
· Donating/exchanging unwanted products
· Raising awareness

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