Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:59

PJ O'Rourke points out that when used items have real value -- Ferraris for example -- they don't need to be 'recycled,' they get sold. 'Recycled' is what happens to stuff with no value, or with so little value only a government regulation can make enough people care.

Why is 'recycling' so good? Jerry Taylor from the Cato Institute talks about recycling paper:

"Fully 87% of our paper stock," says Jerry Taylor, comes from trees which are grown as a crop specifically for the purpose of paper production. Acting to 'conserve trees' through paper recycling is like acting to 'conserve corn' by cutting back on corn consumption." To cap this argument Taylor presents a National Wildlife Federation study shooing that recycling 100 tons of newspaper produces 40 tons of toxic sludge. "Thirteen of the 50 worst Superfund hazardous waste dumps were once recycling facilities," says Taylor.

So recycling pollutes. How 'bout that. And all that crawling through garbage that you and I and the garbage collector have to do -- separating, sorting, piling -- that can't be good for the soul, can it? As a recent Sunday Telegraph item shows, it's not: outbreaks of violence are common as British householders and the collectors of their rubbish express their frustrations at the increasingly pernickety rules on sorting and separation. Grown men and women going through their used pizza cartons and food scraps like rag-pickers in search of silver -- that can't be good, can it?

And what about where all that recycling goes? As even the Minister in charge of Going Through Rubbish concedes, "The challenge in our small country, however, is to find users of recycled products so that they can be put to a good use. This is not always easy. " No. It's not. Tyres, oil and packaging get some recycling -- some. The rest? Well, as the Minister says, "This is not always easy."

So what's the financial cost of all this time wasted sorting and separating our waste? Fortunately, Tim Worstall has done some figures, and he's worked out what it costs Britain every year. It's a lot. If our own time is a consideration, then 'zero waste' it's not.

LINKS: How green bin rounds leave dustmen black and blue - Sunday Telegraph
Euro Trash - Tim Worstall, TechCentralStation

TAGS: Environment, Conservation

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Super Fund

Marnee's picture

Recyling plants are the sites of many a Superfund in the US. They are nasty evil toxic places that waste resources like water and electricity and time and sanity. Water and electricity and fun and money should not be sacrificed to the aluminum and tree gods.

In Tucson it is a little known fact that 50% (if you are lucky) of your recycling ends up at the dump anyway. The dump that is far far away where nary a human must look upon it yet we are told every election year that the dumps will cover us all and the spotted owl will soon die out if we do nothing about it.


eg's picture

I ship all my garbage to New Zealand.


Next time call them liars

R.T.Brooke's picture

Call them liars!.  So few know that there is no such thing as this 'lack of landfill space' bullshit.  Try running that line by your everyday schoolchild or recently graduated enviornmentalist.  Sure, He doesn't have any kind of education in regard to logic, math, history, or science, but he's got an A+ IN MENTAL GYMNASTICS......

This bit of hoakery is used constantly to do what?  Deprive men of their rightfully owned property.  They've got the rest of us dancing around like trained monkeys sorting plastic and bottles.  What for?  There's no real logical reason of course but it keeps us busy.  Like rats in a cage, it keeps us busy.  Ask anyone on the street if we are 'running out of landfill space and what we should do about it'........


The answers speak for themselves and are appalling.  This nonsense is the opiate of the masses, albeit a mild opiate.  You know the drill.  We'll be drowning in our own coke bottles and nappies before it's too late if we don't shape up.  Why?  Is it a 'big conspiracy' these envioro fascists have cooked up?  Maybe....but more likely is that they just flat out hated man's productivity in the first Goddamm place.  Think of it.  They'll use your children's nappies as an excuse to deny it his rightful place in the world.


Blood is red for a reason.....sometimes it pays to  knock it around to confirm it.


Laure Chipman's picture

Interesting post.  I didn't know about the toxic sludge from recycling newspapers.  I did read a few years ago that it costs more to recycle glass bottles than it does to produce new ones - so I always throw mine away.  If we ever run out of raw materials, we can always pick through the dumps at that point, when it makes sense economically to do so.

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