|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.