Recycling based resource management
Since the beginning of time humans have always been striving to utilize the available resources in the most efficient way possible. During the classical period the urine of urban citizens got collected in order to utilize it and its ammoniac in the tanning process of the leather production. In later periods, rags and other non-utilized fabrics have been reused in the paper production and scrap metal has always been smelt and used for new items. Even today old scrap metal is a major input in the industrialized steel production of an ever increasing importance (http://mit.imt.si/Revija/izvodi/mit006/janke.pdf).
In times when energy was not as abundant as today the reuse of worn-out and old materials was a necessity. These motivations of the past are still valid today, but the pressure to optimize the utilization of each and every production input has increased due to a general awareness about the impact on our environment.
An important part of this sustainability is the setup of an economy based on recyclingas it has been initiated and supported in Germany by the recycling and resource reuselaw (KrWG) in 1966. The waste collection is a crucial part of the recycling economy as it forms the foundation to meet the prerequisite for an economically and ecologically reasonable resource and energy recovery. The industry’s initiative “Climate protection by the transition to a recycling based economy” conducted a deep dive and was able to prove the strong correlation of these (http://www.klima-kreislaufwirtschaft.de/klimaschutz-und-kreislaufwirtschaft/leistungsdaten-der-branche-in-nrw/)