Waste recycling is to pass waste through a system which enables that waste to be reused, it involves the collection, separation and clean-up of waste materials. Through the modern history, the environment has become a very important part in human life, nevertheless, as the society has become more developed, problems regarding the environment has become more serious. One of the reasons could directly effect the environment is waste, consequently, to examine how waste is recycled in the modern societies can help people discover the background of the situation, and make improvements in the environment. As most waste is from daily-life, this essay will concentrate on the recycling of waste from households. Although households produce a great amount of unused materials, there are really three major household waste is recycled in the modern societies.
The first major household waste recycled in modern society is paper. Jones (1995:19) noted that the paper which is one of the largest contributors to normal households refuse made up of around 30% of household waste. According to the Ravindra, et al (2001), there are four main categories of paper which are recycled in the modern society: printing and writing paper, newsprint, paperboard, and tissue, with the highest percentage of recycled material being tissue, and the lowest printing and writing paper. Different types of paper should be recycled into different ways, consequently, a system for selective collection is required by the effective recovery of paper for recycling, otherwise the material will be extremely contaminated that would prohibit recycling itself or produce a low quality product. The main options for collecting waste for recycling are bring' and collect' schemes. (Department of the Environment, 1991) For example, Lipor [Intermunicipal Waste Treatment Service in the Oporto region] use door-to-door selective collection to receive and store waste separately so it can later be treated and reused.