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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Recycling is bullshit

Penn & Teller look at recycling in this episode of their show Bullshit (1/2 hour video). Summary: "Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America; a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources."

Governments all over the world are pouring tax dollars into a program that is worse than useless but makes everyone feel good. I participate in my municipality's recycling program for the sole reason that it costs me money to NOT recycle - the municipality charges a per-bag fee to collect household garbage but collects recycled garbage for free. I wouldn't complain but for the fact that our recycling program costs more to collect, transport and process recycled material than dumping it in the local landfill, and results in negligible economic or environmental benefits.

(ht: Classical Values)


Anonymous said...

How can we get this out to those fuckin' idiots who run our cities? I've always thought that it was a matter of control...weak little minds who haven't got the balls to control anything in their own lives have the NEED to control something in ours. Once they get "educated" and get a government job, what power do they have other than reinforcing bad legislation that infringes on our rights as free citizens.

What bullshit!

Philanthropist said...

Large diesel trucks driven by expensive unionized workers down little streets in order to collect stuff that often ends up in the landfill anyway is probably doing more damage to the environment than doing nothing at all.

Cities saw a chance to expand another little empire and they grabbed it with tons of taxpayer cash, it'll never go away now that environmental rituals of sorting garbage have become the new daily dose of religion.

I haven't done the research and don't care to, but apparently the city of Calgary had some kind of ad hoc private company doing recycling - and they made money at it. However, their city council wants to or went ahead with a Blue Box program anyhow, forcing the guys out of business. Empire building - good thing there's lots of willing taxpayers in this country.