Thursday, April 22, 2010

Has recycling gone too far? No

Today's Examiner has an article that argues that recycling has gone too far and that counties are wasting money on recycling. The article has rather strange views on the goals of recycling. To the author of the article, it seems that people recycle because it makes them feel good, because they want to hit certain recycling targets (like recycling 50% of waste), and because it is politically unpopular to build new landfills. Aside from recycling aluminum and white office paper, it seems that there is no environmental or economical reason to recycle.

This article is so old fashioned and contradicts other ideals of the right-wing, such as its support of the market. It is rather strange that The Examiner would make such an argument against recycling, since recycling is a huge, expanding business. There is a market for these items. Why is there a market? Because recycling provides raw materials for production at a good price. The article makes it seem as if the items were being taken to a recycling center and then stored there in pretty green boxes, when, in fact, the items are sold often on the global market. The real question to ask is whether there is an adequate market for certain recycled items. Many businesses have created new products that use recycled materials because these materials are cheaper than buying new and because many consumers are looking for such items, such as partially or completely recycled printer paper. Municipal and country governments across the country are helping to create these new markets. Thus, new markets for recycled materials are being created all the time. In addition, many communities do not have enough space for new landfills. Maybe they are densely populated? Maybe they would rather have parks or new houses? Would hauling garbage to far-away landfills be better than recycling? Maybe they have been forced to expand recycling because they do not see any other solution?

The right wing is ideologically "pro-business," but does not seem to have much contact with real businesses and their new trends. Stuck in old ways of thinking...

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