Skip to comments.Recycling Is Garbage (A classic from the NY Times' libertarian, I'm surprised they posted it.)
Posted on 11/17/2008 11:08:18 PM PST by neverdem
AS THEY PUT ON PLASTIC GLOVES FOR THEIR first litter hunt, the third graders knew what to expect. They knew their garbage. It was part of their science curriculum at Bridges Elementary, a public school on West 17th Street in Manhattan. They had learned the Three R's -- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle -- and discussed how to stop their parents from using paper plates. For Earth Day they had read a Scholastic science publication, "Inside the World of Trash." For homework, they had kept garbage diaries and drawn color-coded charts of their families' trash. So they were primed for the field experiment on this May afternoon.
"We have to help the earth," Natasha Newman explained as she and her classmates dashed around the school collecting specimens. Their science teacher, Linnette Aponte, mediated disputes -- "I saw that gum wrapper first!" -- and supervised the subsequent analysis of data back in the classroom. The students gathered around to watch her dump out their bags on the floor.
Do you see any pattern as I'm emptying it?" Miss Aponte asked.
"Yeah, it stinks."
"Everybody's chewing Winterfresh."
"A lot of paper napkins."
"They're throwing away a folder. That's a perfectly good folder!"
"It's only half a folder."
"Well, they could find the other half and attach them together."
Miss Aponte finished emptying the last bag. "We've been learning about the need to reduce, reuse and recycle," she said, and pointed at the pile. "How does all this make you feel?"
"Baaaad," the students moaned.
Miss Aponte separated out two bottles, the only items in the pile that could be recycled. She asked what lesson the students had learned...
(Excerpt) Read more at query.nytimes.com ...
I guess he couldn’t sell the book so he ran it in the NYT. I agree with the writer, but couldn’t force myself to read the entire piece.
Heresy. You are not allowed to challenge liberal orthodoxy.
Posted: 05 Feb 2008 17:08
Let me tell you a little story about that Island I grew up on, and recycling...
( And it’s pre-web, otherwise I’d give you supporting links. )
About 15 years ago, the County Commission, which runs the county ( and the Island as well ) made a great hoo-rah! about recycling— everybody had to do it.
They made the old Air National Guard compound at the airport- near the center of the place— the recycling center, with colo(u)r-coded dumpsters for paper, and plastic, and garbage, and aluminum... so on and so forth.
The citizens had to separate their trash, and place it in the containers— and bear in mind, before this forced nonsense, they had had garbage trucks that made curbside pickups once a week.
Now, everyone no only had to haul their own garbage, but sort it and place it...
It was fascinating to observe- a lot of these folks were retirees, so feeble they toddled in walkers- but everyone was firmly convinced “they were doing a good thing, and making sacrifices, for the sake of the Environment...”
But it so happened, that after a few years, one of the local paper’s reporters got curious about all this noise, and decided to follow the trucks that carried away the trash...
Surprise, surprise! ( Hattip: Gomer Pile, USMC... )
The trucks went to the same landfill the county always used on Cate road...
...and dumped the carefully, painfully separated trash...
...in the same, single borrow pit they had always used.
Every Commissioner lost their seat in the next election.
yeah, if I’m not mistaken that happened in NYC too.
later read bump
Yeah, I see these 500 hp diesel trucks idling all day while they pick up plastic recycling bags full of mostly air.
The bleaching of recycled chemical filled paper alone is a nightmare of water pollution. A recycling businessman speaking at a University Paper actually said clean water is more valuable since polluted waters in the end kill far many more trees whose immune system to bugs and diseases suffer as a result, but the hype being good for his business, he shrugged shoulders.
Recycling should be market and condition oriented. It’s been used in war time effectively.
A Swedish environmental group admitted that recycling is environmentally counterproductive, but useful nonetheless because it trains the public to obey the mandates and ukases of the environmentalists. In other words, recycling may harm the environment, but it’s good for our souls.
When I lived in Acton, Massachusetts I used to get a dump sticker every year for about $100 bucks. One year the Great and General Court (the Massachusetts legislature) passed and Governor Weld signed into a law an act making it illegal to dispose of metal cans, glass bottles or newsprint in a landfill or incinerator in Massachusetts.
So the next year when I’m at the dump writing my check for $100 bucks I mention (jokingly) to town treasurer who was there to collect the checks, we ought to get a discount that year since we were now saving all that dough recycling. She, in all ernestness, shot back that recycling was costing that town of 20,000 at total of $60,000/year. Seems all the bottles and cans and newsprint was being shipped by BFI to a landfill in Michigan. So apparently trucking Massachusetts waste to Michigan was one way to save the world. (Ontario, with vast stretchs of wasteland, was doing the same thing, shipping waste to Michigan in order to pretend to be saving the world.)
I get the gist of the article, but I’m not clicking on links to the Grey Whore, among others, anymore.
My favorite bumpersticker of all time has to be “Reduce, Reuse, Retarded”.
I recycle because it is beneficial to me monetarily. I’m too frugal to pay to have my trash picked up so I have figured out a way to reduce the bulk of trash that I have to haul off. I recycle all of my plastic, cans and paper (including cereal boxes and other packaging, junk mail, magazines etc). What paper products that I don’t recycle is burnt in my wood stove. My food scraps are either composted or thrown out in the woods for the wild animals to eat. I have very little left over to have to get rid of after all of that. It can be some work, but, I save money and don’t have to drag that big trash can down to the road every week.
In 1991 one of my LIBERAL! physical geography profs did a study on recyclying. His conclusion: it cost more and used more energy to recycle than to simply bury the stuff.
I get the gist of the article, but Im not clicking on links to the Grey Whore, among others, anymore.
I offered the original source as a courtesy, but I also included the Williams College URL, where I first found it, as well.
There’s an excellent book on the topic of Garbage:
I’ve met Dr. Rathje on a few occasions, and have had some fascinating discussions about trash. This guy knows his trash. As you might guess there are a great many myths, and all too often those myths are used to guide policy in the wrong direction.
I’ve long been suspicious that the very same thing happens here in the Seattle area.
King County now has, you guessed it: *mandatory* recycling. I haven’t heard of any citations yet, but supposedly there are people that go around checking street-side trash cans, and they will issue a citation if the recyclable content of the can exceeds 20% of the trash.
I almost hope to get one of these tickets. On trash day I make sure to throw in a few extra aluminum cans at the top of the can. Just to give them something to do.
Thanks for the link.
That’s another thing. If we do really recycle everything possible, what will future archaeologists study?
‘Zactly... We’re takin’ their jobs! :-)
About that “Rubbish!” book... One amusing thing that’s in the book and that we discussed over a couple of bourbons once is the phenomenon of the “Coors Layer”.
Geologists have the term “Irridium Layer” that describes a thin layer of Irridium pretty much all over the planet, which identifies a specific moment in time. Well... the “Coors Layer” is just like that in landfills.
Some of us remember back when beer and soda cans had removable pull-tabs, right? Then there was that awkward phase as many different designs were tried for a non-removable pop-top.
One of those was a total disaster: the Coors punch-down button top. Remember... it had those two little buttons that you had to punch in with your thumbs. Not only did it tend to slice little circles in your thumb, the top air-hole was positioned just right to cut the end of your nose. So... it only lasted on the market for a very short time, about 1974 IIRC. Find the layer in the landfill that has those cans... and you know you’re at right around 1974.
Yes indeed! Actually, I remember when cans were steel and had no opening at all. Had to use the pointy end of a “church key” can opener. ‘Course I wasn’t a beer drinker back then. :)
The old country store in the town I used to spend my summers in, back in the ‘60s had a Coke machine out front. It dispensed cans, and had a clamshell-like can opener on the front. The can opener got a layer of sugar on it after a while, and one day the yellow jackets discovered it. No Coke that day.
The story explains why they might.
As a former newspaper editor, I can attest to the rise in paper costs being a HUGE reason for the downfall of newspapers (beyond the reduced literacy of the American public).
thanks neverdem (quite a combo!):
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Posted on 11/18/2008 6:31:59 PM PST by neverdem
And I'm backed up!
Shhhhh, I don’t recycle. I refuse to be a slave to my refuse.
Penn & Teller did a good episode on Bullsh!t about recycling.
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