Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reconsidering recycling

Check out this post from Don Boudreaux (not the Saints fan, I believe) on recycling, and how most of us already recycle the things it makes sense to re-use. When I was forced by government to take recycling services, I faithfully used the "one size fits all" comingled recycling bin. Now that I need to drive about ten miles to the recycling center and clutter up my garage to collect enough plastic, paper, cans and bottles to make the trip worthwhile....

....well wait a cotton-pickin' minute here. It looks like my newspapers and milk jugs are going into the garbage from now on, as the environmental cost for me to go to the recycling center probably exceeds the benefit by a wide margin, and the raw materials for newspapers literally do grow on trees.

Update/correction:as Dr. Boudreaux's kind note below indicates, he is a big Saints fan. I remain persuaded that he's not a good ole boy in Hell, and I've also got a hunch he's not directly linked with the intergluteal ointment for use on infants also bearing his name.


K-Rod said...

Don't some trash collecting places separate the trash and recycle what they can?

Bike Bubba said...

Yup, in the Metro especially. Given that people pay a recycling fee in their county taxes, though, I'm not persuaded that it's cost effective.

I'll keep recycling CF bulbs and aluminium cans, but the rest is in the trash from now on.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Yeah, recycling is one of those things that exists for the psychic benefit it provides for adherents of that religion. It's a sacrament for Gaia worshipers.

K-Rod said...

Unless, WB, it saves you money, then it's plain old common sense.

I saved the old Hamms brewery a huge amount of money (was Stroh's at the time and helped keep the brewery running for a few more years) by developing a recycling program for them about 20 years ago.

pentamom said...

The most ridiculous scenario is when you have to pay per item to recycle. Our county recently instituted a "Free" electronics recycling program (whereby you had to drive halfway across the city on one Saturday per month) but ran out of money in the middle of last year. Now you have to PAY for the privilege.

However, as I suspected might happen, Best Buy and other electronics retailers have stepped up, and you can now drop off one item per visit for free. Sure, it probably costs them something, but is throwing all that stuff into the ground really without its own kind of cost?

As for the proposition that "we'll recycle anything really worth recycling ourselves," that assumes that we have a need for some reuse and/or know about someone who can make use of it and have the means and motivation to get it there. Does the fact that individual people might be willing to pass up an opportunity to make a small amount of money off of recycling their stuff really mean it's better off thrown into the ground and lost forever?

Don Boudreaux said...

Don Boudreaux here -- the one who wrote "I Recycle."

And I am indeed a Saints fan -- always have been. Huge!

Geaux Saints!

Bike Bubba said...

Thanks for the visit, Don!

More coming, Pentamom.