Recycling can be too much of a good thing

In the real world, it carries costs that are often overlooked

Staff at a SembWaste facility in Tuas picking out recyclable objects from trash. Recycling carries costs that are often overlooked, says the writer. For example, recycling paper could cause more severe water pollution or soil contamination as the rem
Staff at a SembWaste facility in Tuas picking out recyclable objects from trash. Recycling carries costs that are often overlooked, says the writer. For example, recycling paper could cause more severe water pollution or soil contamination as the removal of ink from paper requires harsh chemical treatment, with the resultant sludge needing to be disposed of somehow.ST FILE PHOTO

Tomorrow marks the inaugural Global Recycling Day, an occasion that offers an opportunity to look at the complexities and challenges involved in making the best use of the world's resources.

Global Recycling Day is an initiative of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), an industry association representing over 700 companies from the private sector and 40 national trade federations from 70 different countries.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Recycling can be too much of a good thing'. Subscribe