Do you recycle?

Probably not if you are just phasing in. My neighbourhood was one of the pilot sites I think, we got it a few years ago.

It stinks, but i hate inefficiency and the thought of poorly sorted trash somewhere out in Ontario makes me upset. I might be slightly OCD. I am not a treehugger by any means, ineffiency is just a pet peeve of mine.

When I lived in Berkeley, not only was there mandatory composting (like there is in all(?) parts of California), but once a year, the town will process all the compost and dump it in a huge pile for people to use. So, all these gardener people will show up with trucks and bags and take the compost.

Only easy stuff like paper, cereal boxes, cans etc.

I imagine recycling is more common in Europe though.

I’d be interested in more information on this.


My understanding is that a lot of what we throw away is actually recycled offsite for us. If you’ve ever watch the discovery/science channel (at least when they didn’t have stupid reality shows and actually something informative), some waste management companies have these large machines that use a vareity of methods to sort trash; think magnets, shaking platforms, lasers, etc…

Not saying you should ditch recycling, but waste management companies know there is a lot of $$$ to be made from your trash. So you can rest a little easier that not all of your crap is just going to some landfill and making mother earth really pissed off.

Before the afternoon lull kicks in, I’ll share my tale with all of you.

Personally, I hate recycling.

I recall recycling came about in my hometown around 1992, around the time most of you were born. The airwaves (not internet) were flooded with the slogan, “Recycle, reduce, and reuse! And close the loop” which left the viewer with the triangle of arrows in a continuous process.

Anyways, schools demanded that we recycle and I was young and bought into it. I separated my moms garbage into aluminum, tin, and plastic so the recycling truck could take them.

At this time, all of this made sense. A for profit company took waste and recycled selling the old raw materials to refiners whom could reuse it.

Sometime later, I was a young pup in the rustiest hacksaw college and our economics professor shared an article with us about recycling. Apparently, it became too successful that the refiners could not use all that was available. Think about it, there are only a select few things you put this secondary raw material into. This was around Y2K. At this time, recycling was booming with nearly a dozen bins for materials next to the trash. As one other poster mentioned, in some cases, people disposing trash would be penalized against and made to go to a siloed location.

I now live in NYC and pay for my own utilities, trash, water, and recycling!? I personally called the city personnel responsible for the recycling bill and was told it’s a mandatory fee so that items left for recycling can be picked up. The trucks use a lot of gas ya know.

Me - “Whoa whoa whoa, back the truck up, doesn’t recycling make money since the raw materials are sold to refiners?”

Them - “Yes, but that is not the point, you must pay the recycling fee.”

Me – “Cool story brah, guess what, I no longer wish to recycle, I’ll toss all my empty 40 bottles in the trash, please do not send another bill.”

Them – “It’s a mandated fee. If you do not pay it, it will be an assessment on your property tax statement.”

Me – “…(WTF)…”

There ya have it folks. This whole notion of ‘recycling’ is just another propaganda program by the government to keep people employed when it’s a dying overdone process. Certain raw materials (copper, gold, etc) can be recycled easily and still carry real value. Does anywhere accept a bag of cans anymore like the good ol days for money?

I’d be interested to learn more about recycling and what the outputs of those secondary resources are. I really doubt that it’s all that efficient where everything put in a recycling bin can be used. I’m thinking ~40% of it is usable with the rest going to the trash.

To top it off, I was hard at work yesterday and tossed my soda can in the trash by my desk. Some marketing bimbo walked by and was aghast, interrupted my modeling to Biggie, to tell me to take my can to the recycling bin in the break room. She got mean mugged and then walked away.

Complete waste of time. Feel good politics. I dump the recycling bin into the trash bin. Hell, the Atlanta airport had to put signs by the trash bins informing the masses that the bins are sorted later like a lot of trash. They were getting complaints that they were not recycling. Not to mention that creating paper and cardboard from raw materials produces less toxic waste than recycling. And landfills are mined and trash is sorted in bulk when the economics make sense and only then.

Didn’t some city just ban the sale of bottled water… Apparently, flavored drink sales have increased. Who would have thunk it.

I recycle everything. I incinerate all of my garbage to heat my front yard.

Should have told her to take it to the break room and bring you back a fresh one. I noticed in NYC how all the homeless people rummage for the plastic bottles thrown into the trash for the bottle deposit. So throwing away recyclable bottles provides profitable work for homeless?

Looks like we have our new Blake McAllister here

I agree with you OP. They tried to push that reduce/reuse/recycle business down here in Texas too when I was in grade school and I did everything I could to defy it. Teacher was like, you should shut the water off when you brush your teeth. My 8 or so year old self raised a hand and said, what if i like the sound of the running water and my dad don’t care? We’re paying for it…

So I actually did really good in class and somehow won a water efficient shower head. Gave it to my dad to install in his master bathroom and after 1 shower, said, WTF is this shit? Took it off, went to the garage, got a power drill, and drilled a big hole where the water regulator was so he could get some water flow.

The way I see it, I’m stimulating the economy when I’m not recycling. There’s actually a penn and teller bullshit episode where they talk about the recycling business.

According to BYU - Idaho (who knew there was a BYU - Idaho?), manufacturing using 1 ton of recycled materials uses less than half of the energy to manufacture the same products using raw, virgin materials. In fact, making aluminum cans from recycled cans takes 95 percent less energy than making cans from raw aluminum bauxite ore, saving an estimated 14,000 kilowatt hours of energy and 40 barrels of oil. In addition, the energy saved from recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to power an average household for up to six months (not my house though based on another thread), saves 7,000 gallons of water, and keeps 600 pounds of pollutants out of the air.

I might not be able to turn my kid into a cash-generating lefty pitcher, but I can at least do my part to leave him a slightly cleaner planet, particularly because it doesn’t really inconvenience me in a material way.

the amount of " 'Murcia, Fuck yeah" going on in here is nauseating.

You don’t like it, you can get out.

I don’t recycle at home, but if I am at a public area and they have a bin I will sort my trash there.

As the airport found out, more efficient to let the trash be sorted later in bulk, but keep up the good work.

The other thread you mentioned-doing your part???

Instead of leaving a cleaner planet for your kid, think about leaving a cleaner kid (with clean thoughts) on the planet…just a though!!

I read that last part as sarcastic, but not quite sure. I thought he made a good point that goes with yours. You argue that it’s more efficient to sort trash in bulk later, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that his point becomes invalid. I would be interested in more research about bulk sorting of trash ex post. I wonder if my trash is.

Oh man, I recall that too. We had a meeting at school where they pounded that message in to us around that time. I also remember a time before 911. They had a meeting at school to tell us about 911 because kids couldn’t remember the police department numbers. I also liked your story about throwing the can in the trash. If you recall, cans used to be way thicker than they are now (my Dad actually used to work for a can company). But with the high cost of aluminum, they figured out ways to reduce the materials. That also reduces the benefit to recycling any individual can (as there’s less aluminum worth recycling). I kind of like the way we did it in the Midwest, where you pay a deposit on every can and then take 'em back to the grocery store to get it back. So long as there are incentives to recycle, people will. No incentive, no recycle.