What We Can Learn From Ancient Civilizations About Recycling

Recycling in ancient civilization

Recycling isn’t a new phenomenon. Civilizations have been reusing, reducing, and recycling long before it because fashionable, and long before anyone realized how important reusing, reducing, and recycling was to the health of our planet. We need to learn from the past and how they treated their garbage to ensure a clean and sustainable future.

Recycling in past civilizations

Recycling in past civilizations
Ancient civilizations have been melting down metals to repurpose old items.

For generations – even civilizations – there has been recycling. Some civilizations that came long before us used to be much better than we are at recycling. The problem with society today is that we’re spoiled. We have too much stuff, too many resources, and we have gotten too caught up in “bigger, better, faster, stronger” that we have forgotten to take into account the impact of industrialization, invention, and production. Now we are stuck with a detrimental and destructive amount of plastic that is killing our planet.

Before the industrial revolution, people use to meltdown metals and repurpose old metal products into new products like coins, jewelry, and other household items. Broken tools or weapons would be repurposed and reworked into smaller utensils that could be used in the home. Reusing old materials was easier than sourcing for new materials. Somewhere along the way, we became too good at extracting new materials that we stopped reusing old materials. We need to get back to a time when reusing materials was a natural, and profitable way of life.

History of recycling
Old tools would be reused and repurposed into new household utensils.

Reusing waste

In the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, archeologists discovered that garbage was removed outside the city limits, only to be brought back to use in construction and repairs of walls and buildings. Reusing garbage was a big part of their culture.

Reusing, reducing, and recycling has been a natural part of civilization, and we must continue these practices for the sake of our planet.

Contact Sunrise Sanitation for recycling and garbage services in West Virginia and Maryland.

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