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Recycling Platitudes

Posted by heyrandy on September 19, 2009

There has been a lot of talk about green things. We had a green Czar. He is now an ex-Czar, but is he still green? There has been talk of green jobs. The government even owns General Motors and is going to produce green cars that no one wants. Blue ones too.

I am not a green. I am a cheap. I look at the green idea from the stand point of money. Who pays whom? That is the question.  It is seldom asked except by cranks like me. It is never answered in any real way. “It will pay for itself,” is the usual answer.”We all benefit from a better environment” is the other platitude.

Green has never paid for itself. It cannot pay for itself. Green is someone’s idea of what is good for others. That someone has political support. The politicians force you to pay for it. They force you to participate in an otherwise unworkable venture.

We have mandatory recycling where I live. I must sort my trash into groups. The recyclable items are taken by a specially equipped, dedicated truck to a central location where the recyclable items are shipped off to be reprocessed.

I cannot imagine that there is any profit to this. I wonder how green friendly is this process. Do we have a negative effect? Consider what is involved:

Trucks to move the recyclable items must be manufactured.

Special equipment must be made and installed for the truck.

Sorting and handling machinery must be made for the central collection point.

There must be machines made and operated to process the recyclable items.

There is the environmental cost of making and operating the trucks and machinery.

Has anyone done an audit to determine if we are getting a real benefit from what we are forced to do? Anyone who raises the issue faces the potential wrath of the non-thinkers. Green is sacred.

There has been little voluntary effort by any private company to deal with household items. There has been a great deal of effort to collect and recycle usable scrap items from large producers because of the potential for profit.

It is the economy of scale. It cost the scrap dealer about the same to send his truck to your curb to pick up a few empty boxes as it does for him to send the same truck to the back of a big box store to pick up several tons of boxes.

Election signs are sprouting on lawns near you. Now is a good time to question the candidates about this matter. They won’t have any answers, but you can add what they say to your collection of recycled platitudes.

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