Reading Comprehension | What is recycling?

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about recycling. Then, answer the comprehension questions below

What is recycling?

Recycling waste

Recycling can be defined as the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of recycling is to avoid "conventional" waste disposal. It contributes to the prevention of the waste of potentially useful materials and reduces the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling). This practice has been around throughout the history of mankind, with recorded advocates as far back as Plato in the fourth century BC.

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" waste hierarchy whose aim is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste.

What can be recycled?

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, and cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling.

How does recycling work?

Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.

In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so "recycling" of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (for example, paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (such as lead from car batteries, or gold from circuit boards) or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from thermometers and thermostats).


Much of the difficulty inherent in recycling comes from the fact that most products are not designed with recycling in mind. The concept of sustainable design aims to solve this problem. Now scientists suggest that every product (and all packaging they require) should have a complete "closed-loop" cycle mapped out for each component—a way in which every component will either return to the natural ecosystem through biodegradation or be recycled indefinitely.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. Recycling is a modern practice to convert waste materials into new materials and objects.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. Apart from recycling, there are other ways to reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials.
    a. True
    b. False
  3. Sometimes, recycling can be expensive.
    a. True
    b. False
  4. All manufactured products can be recyclable.
    a. True
    b. False

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