Recycling should in principle be the goal in all aspects of society. There are, however, limitations, as any recycling task may lead to pollution in the ground, water or air. In the most extreme case, recycling may lead to threats to human life. In this paper, we take examples from key industries where recycling can be harmful and where closed and sealed dumps should have been used, rather than the attempt to recycle such as the oil and gas industry, the construction industry and farming. Reuse, hereby defined as use for another purpose without industrial processes, will be briefly discussed. The objectives of the paper are to remind key industries about their responsibility to recycle in a manner that does not harm the environment and to promote recycling in a sustainable way. It is suggested that a recommendation to key industries be made, to carefully assess all consequences of recycling could enhance the recycling industry’s contribution to a cleaner world. The paper is intended to serve as a reminder that recycling in all industries requires careful planning and engineering to represent a valuable contribution towards a sustainable society.
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