On ecology- links for recycling
When organic matter ends up in a landfill, the normal breakdown into nutrients does not occur, because the fill is packed so tightly that air does not circulate around the decaying matter. Rather than return nutrients to the earth, organic matter under those conditions produces methane, which contributes to global warming. Landfills become clogged with items that will never degrade, such as plastics. In the manufacturing process, petroleum, the primary element of plastics, is altered so that it is not recognized by the bacteria and enzymes that break down matter to its reusable form. Removing these products from landfill and sending them off to be reused is a more efficient way of handling the resources that are in limited supply. There are other products that may degrade naturally if exposed to sunlight, but that also is unlikely in a heavily packed landfill. Again, removing those items from that stream, and sending them to new uses through recycling saves energy, resources and the health of the planet.