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)