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The Recycling Myth
Ludwig von Mises Institute ^ | February 4, 2008 | Per Bylund

Posted on 02/05/2008 12:53:26 AM PST by newbie2008

As a Swede I get to hear a lot of the myths of how wonderful a country Sweden supposedly is — the "prosperous socialism" it stands for, a role model for the rest of the world. For instance, quite a few friends from around the world have commended me on Swedish recycling polices and the Swedish government's take on coercive environmentalism.

The way it has been presented to me, Sweden has succeeded with what most other governments at best dream about: creating an efficient and profitable national system for saving the environment through large-scale recycling. And the people are all in on it! Everybody's recycling.

(Excerpt) Read more at mises.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: globalwarming; myths; recycling; trash
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The whole article is hilarious comedy of errors... definitely worth the read
1 posted on 02/05/2008 12:53:27 AM PST by newbie2008
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To: newbie2008

Soon to come to your city. Count on it.


2 posted on 02/05/2008 1:06:26 AM PST by taxesareforever (Never forget Matt Maupin)
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To: newbie2008

I recycle all my trash...straight to the dump. Anything and everything I don’t want goes to the dump if it’s garbage. I don’t recycle anything, period.


3 posted on 02/05/2008 1:13:39 AM PST by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: AlaskaErik
I recycle all my trash...straight to the dump. Anything and everything I don’t want goes to the dump if it’s garbage. I don’t recycle anything, period.
I don't care about recycling so much, but do you know freecycle?
4 posted on 02/05/2008 1:25:41 AM PST by ketsu
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To: taxesareforever

Soon to come to your city. Count on it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It already has come to this leftist area (oregon)..Now we have to bring our own sacks to the grocery...fat chance that I will ever do that....Socialism reigns here.


5 posted on 02/05/2008 1:37:16 AM PST by joyce11111
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To: newbie2008

Simply what will happen is people we start throwing their trash in the streets or in a ditch because there’s too many barriers in disposing of it properly.


6 posted on 02/05/2008 2:12:37 AM PST by DB
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To: newbie2008

We recycle Aluminum at my company. Aluminum chips in one dumpster, Aluminum chunks in another dumpster, and everything else in the other dumpster. The recycling place comes by and empties our Aluminum filled dumpsters whenever we tell them they’re full and then sends us a check for a couple grand based upon the weight of what they pick up. It works because it makes economic sense for us to participate and they make it easy for us to do so. They provided the dumpsters at no cost and don’t complain about how we sort the stuff.


7 posted on 02/05/2008 2:13:04 AM PST by ME-262 (Nancy Pelosi is known to the state of CA to render Viagra ineffective causing reproductive harm.)
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To: newbie2008

Yes, that insanity will be here very soon.

Where can I move then?


8 posted on 02/05/2008 2:30:48 AM PST by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt

btt


9 posted on 02/05/2008 2:38:01 AM PST by KSCITYBOY
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To: taxesareforever

Had this nonsense is a slightly lesser form when I lived in Los Angeles. Had to recycle newspaper, glass and cans. And they CHARGED US for the recycling containers we were required to put the stuff in. And then they CHARGED US to pick it up. Then they PAID a company to take the collected material who then SOLD the stuff which was valuable and dumped the rest in the LANDFILL along with the rest of the garbage I had through out that week.

Only a government entity could manage to turn coercion into a money losing enterprise.


10 posted on 02/05/2008 2:53:14 AM PST by bpjam (I'll crawl over broken glass to vote against McCain (or the Huck))
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To: newbie2008; AlaskaErik
Very interesting.

I really don't mind doing a modest level of recycling as long as:
1. The system is voluntary.
2. Any separation required is relatively easy.

Where I live now we actually save money by recycling because it significantly reduces the volume of our other garbage. The charge for recycling is only a small fraction of the cost to add additional cans. Separating out the dry recycled items also means fewer trips outside during the week with kitchen garbage.

Another town I have lived in has a convenient recycling center downtown. It only takes a few minutes to dump off a load of bottles and it generates money for the high school.

Both of these systems make people happy to participate. The Swedish system is obviously crazy and only generates resentment.

11 posted on 02/05/2008 3:07:28 AM PST by wideminded
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To: newbie2008
I will read the article when I get a chance. But I will say now is that when you go out and get a knowledgeable recycling advocate really drunk, they will admit that the whole business is primarily a psychological exercise, and really has nothing to do with preserving the environment by reducing the waste stream or saving raw materials.
12 posted on 02/05/2008 3:12:46 AM PST by gridlock (Proud Romney Supporter since January 20, 2008)
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To: All

My town makes a ton of money with the 99 recycled garbage items we have . Separate glass, different colored glasses, aluminum ,etc etc etc . I throw it all away . If they want it they can separate it themselves.


13 posted on 02/05/2008 3:13:38 AM PST by sonic109
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To: newbie2008

Excellent column. Great ammo to use against those who hold up Sweden as an example of successful socialism.

Thanks for posting.


14 posted on 02/05/2008 3:16:55 AM PST by Rocky
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To: ME-262

Aluminum is the only recyclable that has a high enough value ($/lb) to make it worthwhile to haul away and reuse. Everything else isn’t worth the price of gas required to move it more than a few miles.


15 posted on 02/05/2008 3:51:58 AM PST by Locomotive Breath
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To: newbie2008

Check out the Penn and Teller “Bullsh#t” episode on Recycling. The saddest part is when they scam some California “progressives” into sorting their trash into about 10 different bins, and the IDIOTS think it’s a “good idea”.


16 posted on 02/05/2008 3:59:01 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: There is no god named Allah, and Muhammed is a false prophet)
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To: sonic109

I bet if you back aluminum out of the equation, the other 98 items result in a net loss in income to the city.


17 posted on 02/05/2008 4:08:12 AM PST by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
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To: Locomotive Breath

I’m glad to hear somebody else say that!!!


18 posted on 02/05/2008 4:09:32 AM PST by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
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To: bpjam

In Sacramento they got all new single person garbage trucks with the “arm” to pick up the trash. Made a BIG DEAL about the efficiency and cost savings. Then they turn around and mandate recycling. So NOW the single manned garbage truck gets followed by another truck with 3 guys on it who pick up the recyclables and put them in the proper bin on the truck. Your taxes at work......


19 posted on 02/05/2008 4:13:20 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: There is no god named Allah, and Muhammed is a false prophet)
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To: perez24

There’s no question about it. Recycling all that other stuff is a net expense so we can feel good about ourselves.


20 posted on 02/05/2008 4:26:46 AM PST by Locomotive Breath
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To: newbie2008

There is a very simple test that will tell you when recycling makes economic sense:

The moment someone offers to buy your garbage, you’re there.

Until then, anyone that says otherwise is ignorant or lying.


21 posted on 02/05/2008 4:32:25 AM PST by motor_racer (Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.)
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To: newbie2008

Oh, I thought this was about recycled trash.

22 posted on 02/05/2008 4:40:45 AM PST by BigLittle ( .)
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To: newbie2008

This is a challenge to the “recycling” myth. A challenge based on fact and reality, so it will be ignored. This sort of thing (the logical basis for reducing government)isn’t nearly as interesting to the bulk of the forum participants as things like “prayer request for a tiny baby” (which I can truthfully say I never read since it has absolutely nothing to do with conservaticsm as far as I can ascertain)


23 posted on 02/05/2008 4:42:06 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government, Benito Guilinni a short man in search of a balcony)
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To: newbie2008

We’ve recycled for the last 17 years - as soon as they put the igloos up locally for me to dump the stuff, I did it. No charge, and no major separating, just plastics, metal, newspaper etc. It’s been a major boon to us because we haul our stuff to the dump and pay per lb. Between recycling and composting, our actual dump fees are very small. And I already take my own canvas bags to the store for reuse.

My husband used to work at a place that made plastic film, what is used to shrink wrap paper towels, pallets, etc and they used recycled plastic. Recycled newspaper goes into cereal boxes and also between the inner and outer car doors.


24 posted on 02/05/2008 4:43:37 AM PST by ktscarlett66 (Face it girls....I'm older and I have more insurance....)
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Bookmarking.


25 posted on 02/05/2008 4:43:53 AM PST by RandallFlagg (Satisfaction was my sin)
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To: newbie2008
The money line:

...you need to flatten all boxes before recycling — that's the law...

Kinda reminds me of the old SNL Phil Hartman skit, "The Anal Retentive Chef."

26 posted on 02/05/2008 4:46:06 AM PST by TankerKC (I tried to find more Nixon.)
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To: newbie2008

I think we should make all packaging out of edible material. That way, we can eat our garbage and our excrement can be used to fertilize the soil so that we can grow more edible things to eat and make packaging out of. It will be like a never-ending cycle of recycling.


27 posted on 02/05/2008 4:47:34 AM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 5 days away from outliving Nicolette Larson (Mitt is It))
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To: wideminded

Our town has a voluntary recycling center to drop off newspapers, plastic soda bottles, and aluminum cans and the money goes to a center for mentally disabled adults. Everyone is happy to participate in this program.


28 posted on 02/05/2008 4:49:37 AM PST by a real Sheila (Have you hugged your "furry best friend" today?)
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To: DB

Simply what will happen is people we start throwing their trash in the streets or in a ditch because there’s too many barriers in disposing of it properly.

You will shot on sight

http://www.cityofboston.gov/isd/cep/default.asp


29 posted on 02/05/2008 4:53:41 AM PST by ninonitti
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To: motor_racer

Brilliant!


30 posted on 02/05/2008 4:56:45 AM PST by TankerKC (I tried to find more Nixon.)
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To: motor_racer
There is a very simple test that will tell you when recycling makes economic sense:

The moment someone offers to buy your garbage, you’re there.

Until then, anyone that says otherwise is ignorant or lying.

Very well put.

Whenever someone mentions how recycling saves so much money, I ask when the town will be taking bids on buying the recycled waste.

Whenever someone mentions how recycling is good for the environment, I ask if they have really looked at the roadsides lately.

Whenever someone mentions how recycling makes so much sense, I ask, "For Whom?

31 posted on 02/05/2008 5:09:59 AM PST by N. Theknow (Kennedys: Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat; but they know what's best for us)
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To: AlaskaErik

My city recently issued every home a pretty blue recycling bin and a bill for $9.85 for the pretty blue recycling bin. I promptly wrote the mayor and told her that I was not going to be using the pretty blue recycling bin for recycling and that I wanted my money back. Amazingly, I did get a response but no refund for my pretty blue recycling bin. It does make a good storage bin for bike helmets.


32 posted on 02/05/2008 5:25:06 AM PST by cyclotic (Support Scouting-Raising boys to be men, and politically incorrect at the same time.)
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To: BigLittle

“Oh, I thought this was about recycled trash.”

White trash should never be recycled.


33 posted on 02/05/2008 5:25:20 AM PST by Hacklehead (Crush the liberals, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the hippies.)
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To: wideminded

I like this idea. As long as people aren’t being made to do extra work (sorting garbage) AND hare having to pay for it (garbage-collection fees), people are happy to recycle.

If the towns forwarded even a fraction of the value of old aluminum and glass to the recycler, people could get their kids in charge of it to earn some spending money. A full-grown adult probably couldn’t be bothered to sort out bottles and things for so little money, but give a kid a chance to make four or five dollars a week doing something that would be assigned to them as a family chore anyway, and watch that capitalist instinct kick in! (And watch as your house stays remarkably free of recyclable garbage!)


34 posted on 02/05/2008 5:28:24 AM PST by Shigarian
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To: newbie2008

I figured this would be about McCain...


35 posted on 02/05/2008 5:30:22 AM PST by MortMan (Have a pheasant plucking day!)
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To: AlaskaErik

“I recycle all my trash...straight to the dump. Anything and everything I don’t want goes to the dump if it’s garbage. I don’t recycle anything, period.”

Amen Brother. In my community the recycling nazis convinced the pack of village idiots we call councilmen that we were running out of “precious landfill space”. About a year after they instituted manditory recycling, they sold a large portion of our landfill to a neighboring town. I don’t submit to forcible recycling, besides, I refuse to paw through my trash like a starving racoon.


36 posted on 02/05/2008 5:34:41 AM PST by Hacklehead (Crush the liberals, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the hippies.)
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To: ME-262

Recycling AL makes sense when you consider what a pain in the butt it is to make it in the first place.


37 posted on 02/05/2008 6:19:55 AM PST by AFreeBird (No Romney, No Rudy, No McLame, No Huck, No Paul! Toss the GOP into the ashcan of History.)
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To: Hacklehead

Several years ago, our town started a recycling program along with the garbage pickup (exactly as another post about the garbage truck with an arm, followed by truck with 3 men dumping into different bins). Everyone felt “good” about recycling and doing their part. The trash and recyclables was being hauled to another county about 60 miles away. Then a story broke a few months later that said the other county was taking ALL the trash and recycled items and dumping them all TOGETHER into the landfill because otherwise they were not making as large a profit if they employed someone to deal with the recyclables they had collected!

I think folks should recycle on their OWN and then take them to depositories that use the recyclables for charitable contributions.


38 posted on 02/05/2008 6:39:09 AM PST by a real Sheila (Have you hugged your "furry best friend" today?)
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To: newbie2008

No surprise here. In the early nineties when I was completing my college education, I had a geography professor (liberal too) who did a study on recycling. His conclusion was that decidedly more energy was used up for recycling than in non-recycling. I’m sure his study was swiftly consigned to the trash bin (no pun intended) by the lib recycling nazis who didn’t want the study given more exposure.


39 posted on 02/05/2008 11:38:59 AM PST by driftless2
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To: newbie2008

http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2007/07/munger_on_recyc.html

for anyone who maybe interested here’s a really good investigation into the economics of recycling


40 posted on 02/05/2008 11:42:27 AM PST by newbie2008
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To: wideminded
"few minutes"

Try to look at the whole picture. How much time and gas do you use to recycle? Remember, every recycling system uses energy. The question is more energy used up in recycling system than in a no-recycling system. It might seem convenient to you, but remember all the energy that is consumed in "saving" energy.

41 posted on 02/05/2008 11:43:59 AM PST by driftless2
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To: ME-262

I know of a church in FL that was build with the money from recycled Aluminum cans. There is also a school attached to the church now. When there’s something worthwhile attached to recycling, people will participate.

I recycle my paper, the white stuff is shredded then goes into soil composting, the colored papter is shredded, put in a 5 gallon bucked of water, whizzed around then dumped where I don’t want grass to grow. It Works.


42 posted on 02/05/2008 11:52:58 AM PST by tillacum (The only way to vote is REPUBLICAN, no matter what. We've got to win.)
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To: newbie2008

Relax! When the muslims institute sharia, they’ll do away with this.


43 posted on 02/05/2008 12:06:52 PM PST by JZelle
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To: newbie2008
The whole article is hilarious comedy of errors... definitely worth the read

Oh, yes!

I even thought about sending a link to my sis, the liberal social worker.

Then, I realized a.) she wouldn't see the humor and b.) would believe that it was actually a good idea.

44 posted on 02/05/2008 12:20:46 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: joyce11111

I feel for you. Washington is right next door and the government here uses Oregon and California as models. Yep, it truly is socialism.


45 posted on 02/05/2008 12:33:51 PM PST by taxesareforever (Never forget Matt Maupin)
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To: driftless2

You should see the Penn & Teller episode on recycling. They not only point out the huge financial loss, they also challenged the idea that landfills were a bad thing and that we have a shortage of landfill space.


46 posted on 02/05/2008 12:37:39 PM PST by SlapHappyPappy
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To: tillacum
Our church recycles paper. Fairly large church with many activities on a daily and weekly basis, also large number of retired members. Have 4 about 6’x6’x6’ containers that pretty much get filled weekly. Paper re-cycler company sends truck weekly to dump them. Nets church about $15K to $20K yearly depending on price of paper. Not a fortune but it helps. Most unload paper when they are at church for some other reason so it’s not like someone drove 5 miles to unload 2 cents worth of paper.
47 posted on 02/05/2008 12:50:25 PM PST by nomorelurker (keep flogging them till morale improves)
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To: driftless2
"few minutes"

Try to look at the whole picture. How much time and gas do you use to recycle? Remember, every recycling system uses energy.

Fair enough, but of course I have thought about this before:

Gas

I described two recycling systems I have participated in.

In my current system I use no gas because the recycling is picked up with my trash. Granted the recycling truck uses gas, but if people didn't recycle, more regular garbage trucks would be required which would also use gas.

In the prior system where I took recycling to a downtown center, I only went there when I had to go downtown anyway, so I used no extra gas. The center was 1 block from the post office, in a place I had to pass by frequently.

Time

Because I don't use many newspapers I only have to separate my recyclables into two containers, one for metal, glass, and plastic bottles, and one for cardboard. Most of these items are empty food containers that are set aside as we empty them in the kitchen. Once a week I transfer this to the recycling containers and add any larger cardboard that has accumulated. As I said earlier this only takes a few minutes, plus it saves me making more trips since the regular kitchen garbage fills up much more slowly.

Apparently the recyclers have a machine that separates the metal, glass, and plastic. They don't take every kind of plastic but they do take the vast majority and it is easy to identify.

At my prior location I was accumulating a large number of plastic bottles for reasons I won't get into. I could just store these in bags until it was convenient to go to the recycling center where it only took a few minutes to get rid of them. Again, I was greatly diminishing the volume of my regular trash.

Money

You forgot this. As I pointed out I save money with the current system. The recycling service costs about 1/4 the cost of adding another garbage can. Plus they seemingly take any amount. I have recycled multiple large bundles of cardboard that would not even fit in my trash can.

Since the recyclers are a private company and are charging me very little, I'm guessing that they are making a profit from the recycled materials.

With the system at my previous location, the recycling generated money for the local high school, so I was happy to help them out.

Environment

So, to summarize, this level of recycling does not cost me any gas or money or a significant amount of time. Plus I get to feel like I am doing my part for the environment to a reasonable degree. I do not consider this minimal civic duty to be onerous at all. It appears to me that the recycling system I participate in is probably a net saver of energy. It's a net plus.

48 posted on 02/05/2008 4:07:56 PM PST by wideminded
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To: newbie2008
The county started a recycling program at the dump, with containers for paper, cardboard, bottles, etc. A lot of people made an effort to separate their trash. Then we found out that it was all going into the landfill. It cost more to transport it to recycling plants than it was worth.

On the other hand, the printing company I used to work for made good bucks recycling paper, ink solvent and used film.

49 posted on 02/05/2008 7:28:00 PM PST by Vietnam Vet From New Mexico (Pray For Our Troops)
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To: newbie2008
The county started a recycling program at the dump, with containers for paper, cardboard, bottles, etc. A lot of people made an effort to separate their trash. Then we found out that it was all going into the landfill. It cost more to transport it to recycling plants than it was worth.

On the other hand, the printing company I used to work for made good bucks recycling paper, ink solvent and used film.

50 posted on 02/05/2008 7:28:04 PM PST by Vietnam Vet From New Mexico (Pray For Our Troops)
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