Recycling isn’t working


Recycling is not as sustainable as you might think. It has become a wasteful movement that was beneficial during the early stages of the environmental movement. Now the cost outweighs the satisfaction we get out of recycling.

“Recycling has been relentlessly promoted as a goal in and of itself: an unalloyed public good and private virtue that is indoctrinated in students from kindergarten through college,” wrote John Tierney, journalist and self-described “contrarian” for the New York Times. “As a result, otherwise well-informed and educated people have no idea of the relative costs and benefits.”

To put it in another way, most recycling advocates are unaware of the cost of transportation, labor and production of renewable materials that ultimately defeats the purpose of saving the planet.

Recyclers are validated by the collective consciousness of fellow believers. They don’t realize the wastefulness that occurs after rolling the recycling bin to the curb. Why did things get worse? The short answer is the success of an ongoing marketing campaign that resonates with a growing population of millennials and aging liberals.

Since the advent of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” idea, recycling received the most attention. Why? Because there’s barely any money in reducing or reusing. If you think about it, recycling starts its capitalistic cycle from our wallets to the bins or recycling centers, then to the manufacturing plants, the businesses and back to burning a hole in our pockets.

So, there you have it, reduce consumption and reuse your renewable materials. Buy used products and learn how to repair them if they break. Borrow, rent or share if you can. The point is to reduce the disadvantages of recycling that is practiced by too many people and apply smarter solutions to climate change. If enough of us consume less and reuse more, the act of recycling can reclaim its integrity. It’s all about balance.




Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Noise, rage, and skateboards — RampArt releases compilation LP

By Nathan Sano Through the endless cloud of hairspray, denim and the occasional crop dusting lies a paradise for local skaters, punks and music lovers alike. For the rest of us, it’s something adjacent to a welcome fever dream.  This

Beloved student Camile Nauta dies at 21

By August Linton Camile Nauta, a beloved CPH student and community member, was hit by a truck and killed while out walking their dog Wilson with friend Rune Kubbany on Jan. 17. Wilson was also killed in the accident, and

Eagle protectors clash with PG&E over nest

Activists known as eagle protectors rallied together on Sunday, Jan. 8 in defense of a bald eagle’s nest on Northern Pomo Land in Potter Valley, California. PG&E had planned to cut down the tree that the nest is in, citing

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply