Many countries bury and forget millions of tons of rubbish every year. But we don't have to throw away all our waste paper, glass, metal, plastics. We can also burn or recycle a lot of it. In fact waste can be very useful stuff.
A. Britain is well on the way to being swamped by rubbish. Every year each family offers the dustmen one ton of "mixed waste" (two black sacks2 a week).
B More than half of the dustbin content is a combination of paper (3 3%) and vegetable matter (20%). The rest includes glass (10%), dust and ash (10%) and smaller quantities of metals, plastics and textiles.
C. How do we get rid of this rubbish? We find or dig huge holes in the ground and fill them with this stuff. These are known as "landfill sites".
D.This 20 million ton of rubbish pose major environmental problem polluting the area. It is a slow and unseen menace. Methane gas given off by decaying organic matter can build up and explode. Toxic materials poison the water and air and pose a long term threat to our food chain.
E.But a lot of what we throw away is still useful. The glass, plastic, metal, oil, textile, paper, cardboard, battery content we send to landfill is potentially very valuable because it is a concentrated source of many raw materials. Rubbish can be also burnt to generate electricity and heat our homes.
F. Britain recycles less than 1.5 % of waste. It is a pretty poor record if compared to 10% in the US and Germany, 14 % in the Netherlands, 18% in Canada, There is a problem- recycling is expensive. But it should be sponsored by government, local councils and industry.
Still the number of recycling centers is growing. Collection "banks" and kerbside "blue boxes" have become very popular. Consumers separate materials (paper, metal, textiles, glass, cans, plastic containers) and take them to collection points. It cuts waste going to landfill by half and reduces pollution.
Comprehension Ex. 1. Decide what paragraph these sentences can go in the text. 1. Britain throws away 7 million tons of paper every year. 2. At the moment, most countries turn only 5-10 % of their rubbish into energy. 3. There are three ways to beat the throw- away society. They are cleaner and cheaper than bury rubbish. 4 Recycling saves trees, energy, money and cuts pollution. 5. Some countries now have recycling laws. These mean that supermarkets pay customers to return cans and bottles.
Ex. 2. Use the text information to find out recycling figures for different countries. GB- 1,5 % of waste
Ex. 3. Read the text and find out what can be done to cut waste going into landfill. recycling, etc.
Ex. 4. Study the text and point out the benefits of recycling. saves energy and resources
Ex. 5. Match the pairs of the slogans you could make for your school campaign. 1.Buy products a. use rechargeable batteries b. aerosol cans c. collection points for glass, paper, metals 2. Bring your own d. both sides of paper 3. Use e. to local paper banks 4.Write on f. made from recycled materials 5.Take wastepaper g. shopping bags 6. Avoid h. in glass bottles, not plastic ones 7.Buy your drinks 8. If you have a choice