Saturday, May 1, 2004

Recycling - A Waste?

So it true that recycling is a waste of time, money and energy? Let's look at the facts:
First off, it is more expensive to recycle garbage than it is put it in a landfill. For the average city it takes $50-$60 a ton to throw trash into the landfill, and $150 a ton to recycle. Cities, such a New York, it is estimated to cost up to $250 a ton. In fact, landfills are the cheapest method of disposing of garage. New landfills are constructed to pipe the methane gas it produces to local power plants, supplying approximately 39 million kilowatt-hours per year - enough to supply about 3,200 homes (very green energy). So what about recycling? It takes more money to recycle a plastic bottle than it does to create a new one. Recycling paper takes more energy and creates more pollution than making new paper. There are more steps including removing the ink, which causes another byproduct. The processes also use more water than producing new paper products. But what about the trees? There is the argument that paper should be recycled so that we save trees and forests? We have 3 times more trees now than in the 1920s; in fact we grow trees just to produce newsprint. It is a sustainable resource.

So now what? Many of us recycle and feel our need to participate. Environmentalists tell use that we should and we are helping the planet. But if it is a waste of time, money and resources and is less sustainable than we though all along, what can we do to help. Well one thing recycling aluminum cans is still a good practice. It takes less money and resources to make an aluminum can from recycled materials than it to make a new one. So save the cans and trash everything else.

But don't take my word a face value. Do your own research...An article...Recycling Is Garbage...and the rebuttal...Recycling Isn't Garbage...