Recently, a discussion on linkedin brought up an interesting issue. The one of non-living material and its relationship to living material. (Thank you Nikolay and Julian)
Nature does indeed recycle all materials. The speed at which some materials are being recycled is so slow that it is hard for human beings to “see” the transformation, but that does not mean it does not exist.
co2 cycle
Illustration credit
The biosphere as well as the atmosphere surrounding the earth prevent any new material from entering the system [1]. (aside from some frequent meteor showers). Since nature provides a platform in which living things are able to thrive forever, it is crucial that all materials are reusable. Rocks, sediments, non-living matter are part of a cycle known as the carbon cycle in which carbon atoms are continually recycled. As such, fossil fuels, limestones, coal, etc are part of the recycling carbon cycle.
A landfill could be compared to fossil oil depository, however, the oil being part of the carbon cycle eventually cycles back into the atmosphere and provides carbon atoms for life…materials buried in a landfill release highly toxic materials as well as materials that do not break down well, such as plastic. Materials from a landfill eventually cycle through as well, however, they do not support life, they most often destroy life.

1. Scienceclarified


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