[Eco] Andy's Argument Against Recycling

Christopher Hickman tophu at mac.com
Sun Jan 28 14:22:25 EST 2007

I didn't realize there was an Eco list, so I originally posted this  
on the something list.

On Jan 28, 2007, at 1:19 PM, Christopher Hickman wrote:
> I've been waiting for somebody to chime in about Andy's latest  
> Wunderland Weekly News, regarding the fallacy of (paper) recycling,  
> so I could add my thoughts. I try to be careful about posting  
> political issues now. ;)
> Since nobody else is, I'll start the discussion.
> I try to buy products with recyclable packaging, and I recycle  
> everything I can.  The overall volume of my recyclables generally  
> meets or exceeds that of my refuse from the same time period.  I  
> recycle not just because I thought it was the right thing to do,  
> but because I pay for my trash collection by volume, and I pay for  
> recycling whether I use it or not (through my county taxes).  So if  
> recycling paper is bad for the environment, my local government is  
> adding insult to injury by making me pay (just in terms of tax  
> money, as our recycling is non-sorted) for that harm. (Though I am  
> wholly unsurprised that a government program has the exact opposite  
> effect as its intent.  That's pretty standard, really.  Is  
> prohibition making drugs less available?)

I should add that I'll continue to recycle as long as it is  
economically better for me.  The difference in environmental impact  
of paper production from virgin pulp vs. recyclables is probably  
negligible, as there are pollutants in both processes.  If my county  
were to end our forced recycling, I'd probably still hold out my  
recyclables and sell them back anyway, since that would be a better  
economical choice than paying to discard it.

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