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