Skip to comments.The Reign of Recycling
Posted on 10/04/2015 11:43:28 AM PDT by reaganaut1
Despite decades of exhortations and mandates, its still typically more expensive for municipalities to recycle household waste than to send it to a landfill. Prices for recyclable materials have plummeted because of lower oil prices and reduced demand for them overseas. The slump has forced some recycling companies to shut plants and cancel plans for new technologies. The mood is so gloomy that one industry veteran tried to cheer up her colleagues this summer with an article in a trade journal titled, Recycling Is Not Dead!
While politicians set higher and higher goals, the national rate of recycling has stagnated in recent years. Yes, its popular in affluent neighborhoods like Park Slope in Brooklyn and in cities like San Francisco, but residents of the Bronx and Houston dont have the same fervor for sorting garbage in their spare time.
The future for recycling looks even worse. As cities move beyond recycling paper and metals, and into glass, food scraps and assorted plastics, the costs rise sharply while the environmental benefits decline and sometimes vanish. If you believe recycling is good for the planet and that we need to do more of it, then theres a crisis to confront, says David P. Steiner, the chief executive officer of Waste Management, the largest recycler of household trash in the United States. Trying to turn garbage into gold costs a lot more than expected. We need to ask ourselves: What is the goal here?
Recycling has been relentlessly promoted as a goal in and of itself: an unalloyed public good and private virtue that is indoctrinated in students from kindergarten through college. As a result, otherwise well-informed and educated people have no idea of the relative costs and benefits.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Recycling is another ‘religion’, just like man-made climate change.
If/when it becomes profitable, the government will not need to mandate participation.
Wow. Some semblance of a fair and balance article in the N.Y. Times about recycling? They actually are talking about cost and benefits of it? They admit that kids from kindergarten up are indoctrinated that recycling is an unquestioned good goal???
So the Times wants us to think about a cost / benefit analysis of recycling??? There is actually a liberal cause which they think we should do such a review?
Will the Times shock us, by saying we should do a cost/benefit analysis of the various plans liberals have to fight “global warming”????
Exactly. The only recyclables that pencil out are metals, specifically aluminum.
Cardboard and paper, plastic and glass cost more to recycle than to produce anew.
Once you get the recycling thing down, it’s not that big of a deal to do it. If paper content can be recycled, I think it’s a good idea.
Glass, plastics... perhaps not a big money maker, but if it’s doing better than breaking even and can be reused, why not.
I’m not against things that make sense. If these things don’t, then I have no axe to grind to force them anyway.
The big ideas of the Left have basically turned out to be nothing more than big ideas on the Left.
Desalinate me some water. Do something productive for a change.
Could probably make more money out of simply burning paper goods as an energy source. Scraps of wood too...
“...Glass, plastics... perhaps not a big money maker, but if its doing better than breaking even and can be reused, why not...”
In most areas it does not even come close to breaking even. The benefit is in saved landfill space but it has a very high cost.
Nashville built a thermal transfer plant and the greens were all behind it until they saw that their fundraising would benefit from changing sides and opposing the opened plant that produced “too much air pollution”. Rather than work for a solution, the Greens would rather scrap the whole plant.
Yeah, save landfill space because we are running out of it. /s
Fly or drive across the US and count the actual number of landfills you see.
Our recycling junk(washed bottles and cans) gets shipped across water far away and sits in a warehouse and then they hope some fool buys it
Recyclers pay you for iron and steel too (not cans but engines and cars). Also big money with the precious metals in the catalytic converter.
Recycling also always costs more. Add into that the mandate to homeowners to recycle or be fined and you have government tyranny for its own sake. It is a “religion” to these people and has nothing to do with saving money.
We had a landfill just south of downtown Houston. It’s now Wildcat Golf Club - 36 hole course and great place to play.
Yep. In my neck of the woods, recycling companies bid for the rights to pick up our recycling bins. The winning bid was something like $35,000 for 2015. So it's a net gain for the community.
As for next year, who knows?
The Lefties are good at dreaming up ideas but not not so much on staying the course and seeing things through to their conclusion
In my neck of the woods, i contract out my own trash pickup. The contractor doesn’t really seem to care which bin contains what, so i can only conclude that the cost of the second, recycling pickup is built in to my quarterly payment.
That is, a soon over-supply of recyclables outstripped demand, and prices for the used material went negative, forcing them to pay to have the stuff carted away.
At the same time, landfill operators had a hard time even breaking even.
You pray over your refuse? (Joke, I say, son, a joke)
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