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Post 0

Friday, February 15, 2008 - 4:07pmSanction this postReply
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I used to recycle paper, dutifully bundle it up and drive it to the recycling center at our school, thinking I was doing my bit for the school and the environment.  Then I read in the paper that the county government's cost of administering the recycling program was, IIRC, about 20 times the money they received for the recycled goods.  Everything went in the trash after that.

The cost of something is a rough, imperfect guide to the environmental impact.  And if the cost exceeds the return by a factor of 20 in the example I cited, you're almost certainly harming the environment overall, while simultaneously gouging the taxpayers, all in an attempt to falsely feel virtuous.




Post 1

Friday, February 15, 2008 - 10:23pmSanction this postReply
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Recycling is a manufacturing process. It uses energy and produces waste just like any other manufacturing process. Some recycling makes economical sense (aluminum, I believe) - most doesn't.

Because of the toxic environmental culture we live in, I make a point of NOT recycling just to tweak people. When they ask why, I explain the economics of it. This could be why my friends find me annoying.



Post 2

Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 6:10amSanction this postReply
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Recycling makes sense only when it saves more than it costs.

The second law of thermodynamics holds for both sensible people and eco-phreaks. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch and doing nothing is doing something.

Bob Kolker




Post 3

Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 12:22pmSanction this postReply
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Do you mean to say that recycling isn't compulsory in the USA... ?

From our local rag:

How will Compulsory Recycling be enforced?

Black recycling boxes are emptied weekly so it will be easy to monitor which households are not taking part in the scheme. Recycling assistants will visit households who do not regularly recycle to explain the scheme and encourage residents to participate.
Residents who continue not to recycle will receive warnings and formal notices. As a last resort, the Council may prosecute the most persistent offenders. The Magistrates court can issue a fine of up to £1,000.

What happens if I am away and donít put any recycling out?

The Council is trying to encourage recycling, not trying to catch residents out. We will only be following up with residents who regularly do not recycle.

Is Compulsory Recycling legal?

Under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Council can legally ask residents to use particular containers for different waste streams. Therefore, the Council does not allow residents to place paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, food and drink cans, plastic bottles, textiles, shoes, batteries and engine oil in the wheeled rubbish bin. A black recycling box is provided for these materials.

Jo (in LaLa Land)




Post 4

Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 1:39pmSanction this postReply
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Awe.  : ( 

Nope, not compulsory here...yet.




Post 5

Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 5:13pmSanction this postReply
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"... two peoples separated by a common language." -- Churchill.
If you search for compulsory recycling, you get only UK (and Taipei, etc.) hits, but if you look for mandatory recycling the USA hits pop up.

 Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mandatory recycling program working well

By JenniferLangston
P-I REPORTER
Two months after Seattle began enforcing its mandatory recycling ordinance, garbage haulers and city inspectors have found few violations of a law that some feared would be difficult to enforce and follow.
We talked with Brett Stav, a senior planning and development specialist at Seattle Public Utilities, to find out how the program is going.
What does the mandatory recycling ordinance require?
"Starting Jan. 1, recyclables are basically prohibited from Seattle's household, apartment and business garbage. For businesses, that means paper, cardboard and yard waste is prohibited from the garbage.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/262968_nsecondary15.html

Mandatory Recycling Rates for Localities

In 1989, the Virginia General Assembly adopted legislation which set the following recycling rates for communities: 10 percent by December 1991, 15 percent by December 1993 and 25 percent by 1995.  Each county, city, town or regional authority was required to establish recycling programs that would meet these goals.

The statutory recycling rate of 25 percent continues today for many Virginia localities, but legislation introduced in 2006 provides for a two-tiered recycling mandate - 15% and 25%.  Localities or regions (called Solid Waste Planning Units or SWPUs) with population densities less than 100 persons per square mile or with an unemployment rate 50% higher than the statewide average now qualify for a 15% mandated recycling level, with all others remaining at the 25% recycling mandated level.
http://www.deq.state.va.us/recycle/mandatory.html

Passaic County, New Jersey
Model Mandatory Source Separation/Recycling Ordinance

This model was developed to aid local officials comply with the 1987 New Jersey Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act.
http://www.passaiccountynj.org/Departments/naturalresources/SWMPModel%20Ordinance.htm

Mandatory Recycling

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - The Miramar landfill [San Diego, California] is expected to fill up by 2013, and the city is now doing something about it. Lena Lewis was live at the landfill with details on a new mandatory recycling program, which will start next year and be in full effect by 2010.
http://www.kusi.com/news/local/11273766.html




Post 6

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 3:09amSanction this postReply
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I was thinking in way more tedious terms, like separating paper, plastic, glass, metal, wood, etc.,
but Michael made me realize we do have something like "compulsory" recycling here. 
Where I live, we aren't allowed to throw away car batteries or paint with the rest of the trash.  Have to call "special pick up" for that stuff.  




Post 7

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 4:15amSanction this postReply
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Understandable. One does not wish to let lead and battery acid leach into the ground near public water supplies.

Think of the term -- hazardous waste.

Bob Kolker




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Post 8

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 6:24amSanction this postReply
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I tell people recycling is a Communist plot.

Water Melons = green on the outside, red on the inside




Post 9

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 6:26amSanction this postReply
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I just throw it all in one big bag, who is going to open it up and look through it anyway?  The trash workers have better things to do.



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Post 10

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 8:24amSanction this postReply
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Where I live recyling is an extra service you have to pay for with a private trash removal company, but technically in my town it is 'illegal' to not recycle.

I usually point out to greenies that recycling is about conserving material resources, NOT energy. It actually takes MORE energy, in most cases, to process something which is recycled, than it does to dig it up and process it (that whole economies of scale thing) Which means more Carbon Dioxide, green house effect, global warming, bla bla. So, if they recycle, we're all gonna die. That usually gets them to stop and think about things a little more.

The environmentalist movement still lumps 'energy' in with 'resources' I can understand this a little with oil, as it's one in the same, and it's burned and makes CO2 which will kill us all, etc, but for iron, steel, copper, aluminum? etc? I always ask greenies what the hell does the earth care if we remove aluminum from the crust.

Aluminum, they say, is one of the only things that it's actually worthwhile in energy and resources to recycle. But considering that aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earths crust, and that some ridiculous giant diesel truck comes by and picks up my aluminum cans, which are 99.9% air and .1% aluminum, I am doubtful even of the usefulness of aluminum recycling.

I have a small aluminum foundry in my house where I melt and cast custom parts, even for me it's not worth it to melt aluminum cans (I buy chunks of scrap at a local metal yard) because there is about as much ink on an aluminum can as there is aluminum, and it completely ruins the pour. I still just throw mine away.



Post 11

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 8:34amSanction this postReply
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"Where I live, we aren't allowed to throw away car batteries or paint with the rest of the trash. Have to call "special pick up" for that stuff."

And you knuckle under to this bullying? It's all going to wind up in a landfill somewhere, which IIRC are all triple-lined so the waste doesn't leach out.

My idea of recycling is to not buy stuff I don't need, and use the stuff I do have until it wears out or breaks, and it becomes uneconomical to repair rather than buying something new. Being thrifty is the un-PC, smart way of being environmentally conscious. Most greenies I've met don't care if their schemes actually work, just so long as they can feel good about themselves. They'll buy their Toyota Pius, the high price of which reflects the environmental damage of the extra batteries and whatnot, instead of saving money with a cheaper Toyota Corolla which gets nearly the same gas mileage but just doesn't have that faux-caring panache.

If it doesn't make economic sense, it usually doesn't make environmental sense either.







Post 12

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 9:02amSanction this postReply
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What is funny is that oil, according to conventional wisdom, is recycled plants.....



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Post 13

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 9:00amSanction this postReply
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I particularly enjoyed the first post on this thread.  Our local authority used to provide "blue bags" for all recyclable materials and provided a helpful list with twice weekly pickups.  They now provide a green bin, which is the equivalent of one blue bag in size with the same helpful list and one weekly pickup.  Note that the helpful list does NOT include the location of the recycling dump so that those who wish to recycle can choose to drive their waste to the dump.
 
To me, the messages are clear, and are further evidenced by even a casual reading of their public accounts - recycle just enough to assuage your conscience, but not too much because it is clearly costing us too much.  Do not drive to the recycling dump - this is more environmentally unfriendly than the recycling is, allegedly, friendly.
 
The local authority is either rational or not rational.  If they are rational, then recycling is bad.  If they are not rational, then a) who cares what they think but on the other hand b) if people want to recycle, then surely it is a service that people will pay for, trading value for value.




Post 14

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 10:51amSanction this postReply
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Well said, Mr. Stotland.

And welcome to the RoR forum.

Ed




Post 15

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 3:03pmSanction this postReply
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I devised this poll hoping that a discussion such as this would arise. Wonderful input everyone.

Great points about recycling being about saving material vs. saving energy.

Personally, I am a semi-recycler. Since I live in an apartment and have a small under-the-sink garbage bin, I use blue recycling bags for my big items like boxes, glass bottles, etc. It's all stuff I would be happy to throw in the garbage, but alas!

I am surprised nobody brought up the Penn and Teller "Bullshit!" episode that focuses on recycling, it's a good one. http://www.sho.com/site/ptbs/prevepisodes.do?episodeid=s2/r

Tyson




Post 16

Monday, February 18, 2008 - 7:27pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the pointer.  I had a bit of trouble with the link, so I went over to You Tube:

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Aae5dmxnA

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7HYvkybpJs

Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xVY6PEiOhU

"Everybody got a grigri."




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