Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Recycling con - I told you so

Back in July 2006 I mentioned how contaminated paper can't be recycled, and have commented about the fascist lengths that some councils in Britain go to in criminalising people who don't follow the, what I call, faith based initiative of recycling.
I asked that it was about time that someone fisked this in the mainstream UK media, and The Times has:
The issues are:
- Combining recyclable materials making it inefficient and wasteful to separate them out, leading to cases such as "A paper recycling company in Kent is sending to landfill 9,000 tons a year of cans, bottles and plastics. These have been mixed up with the paper and the firm does not have the capability to process them. " and "A Warrington-based aluminium processor, regarded as a world leader in its field, is regularly rejecting British waste because it is so poorly sorted".
- Contaminated recyclable material which is virtually unusable. "Britain’s biggest glass recycling company is sending tons of glass to roadfill because it is so contaminated. ".
Recycling has always happened, it has long been efficient to recycle car bodies, aircraft fuselage, unsold newspapers and magazines, and glass bottles if people hand them in. However, the obsession with recycling has a fervour surrounding it that means if you don't recycle some see you as an "environmental vandal".
Don't forget:
- Paper is biodegradable, it is produced from a renewable resource (trees);
- Glass is made from silicon, which the second most abundant element on earth. Silicon comes from sand, ask yourself how scarce that is;
- If recycling everything made economic sense, it would be happening by now, and don't say there is an environmental cost, until you've costed it. The environment cost of landfills is not infinite, despite the Green rhetoric.

1 comment:

James said...

Penn and Teller debunked recycling on their show "Bulllshit".Its a feel good but wasteful con used to make housewives fell nice and fluffy....but its uneconomic and actually harmful to the environment.