Author Topic: 'recycling' failure: too early?  (Read 8158 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: 'recycling' failure: too early?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2007, 07:26:45 pm »
I grew up in a small town where everyone had "nature" at the top of their list of Important Things. We did recycling my whole life, except for paper/cardboard... that got used in the fireplace and woodburner for heat.

I was really shocked when I watched the "Bullshit" episode on the subject of recycling. Important note: I think Penn and Teller provide Bullshit to counter existing Bullshit and thus their show should be considered Bullshit, but as the PD says "Bullshit makes the flowers grow, and that's beautiful."

Anyway, some interesting points from that show:

Glass and Aluminum are the only products that we can currently recycle at a flat or positive gain in energy use. Paper, plastic, etc etc are not cost effective and often "recycle bins" for these end up in the landfill with the rest of the garbage that we separated it from.

The current projections on landfills indicate that a single landfill  (some distance, I think 10 miles square) would cover all of the needs of the US for the next (insert some very long period of time that I can't recall... 1000 years or something).

Now, my opinion is that Penn and Teller exaggerate their position for ratings and because the name of the show is Bullshit! So I think that the truth (What is truth?) exists probably somewhere between "recycling will save the world" and "recycling is Bullshit!"

I still recycle cans, glass and cardboard because there are dumpsters right near my house and it makes less trash that I have to jam into my "one size must fit all" trash can that we get assigned to us by the city. However, I have abandoned that it necessarily does much more than make me feel good and makes someone cash for that aluminum.


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Re: 'recycling' failure: too early?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2007, 07:30:34 pm »
I think the problem with recycling is similar to the problem of voting.

As individuals, it probably doesn't matter whether or not we recycle. But it's totally important that we, as a group, do it.


so we're stuck. The socially responsible thing to do, in both cases, is something in which we cannot perceive the effect of our effort.

I guess this is where you hope to change enough cogs to have some over-arching effect on the larger social mechanism. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.