|The 3R's? Pshaw! Just memorize what goes into each bin.|
To sum up, recycling is a government-mandated environmental program that:Yale Law professor Stephen Carter laments how cumbersome recycling has become:
adds $millions to the cost of consumer products; created an industry that is unable to survive without a government subsidy; is so uneconomic that even with the subsidy nearly a quarter of the locations have closed (so far); doesn't accomplish what it set out to do anyway ("millions...going to landfills").
But wait, it gets worse: the government extracts penalties from businesses.The law also requires stores that sell the beverages to have a place for consumers to return their bottles and cans within a half mile. If not, the stores themselves are required to either allow customers to recycle there, or pay a $100 a day fee.Consumers lose, businesses lose, the recyclers lose, the environment loses anyway.
Many stores opt to pay the $36,500 annual fee, saying they are unable to set up a recycling center at their location.
with each passing season, the rules seem to grow more complicated. My wife and I are constantly getting online warnings (and paper flyers) from our Connecticut town, usually couched in a tone somehow contriving to suggest that we residents aren’t quite up to the mark: Too many of you are including plastic bags. Or polystyrene. Too many of you are leaving your boxes unbroken. Or broken but with food clinging to the cardboard.The knowledge that one is not so much saving the environment but helping recycling companies' profits makes it a "daily grind." [bold added]
There’s so much to remember. If bottle caps are loose, keep them out of the recycling bin. (That’s what the state decrees, anyway; my town says caps are fine.) Don’t just rinse your aluminum cans but dry them too. (Water is bad.) As to those plastic bags that don’t go in the bin, don’t toss them in the trash either, but find a place that accepts them and drop them off there. Or better still -- we are told -- buy reusable bags. Sure, serious researchers consider them carriers of germs and infection. But that’s okay. Just wash them regularly. (More work.) Oh, and take your wire coat hangers back to the dry cleaners.
what began nearly half a century back as a movement among happy optimists has become like too much else to which government turns its attention: heavy-handed, coercive, distant and thick with detailed rules. Recycling may be important, but it’s no longer romantic. It’s not fun. Nowadays, recycling isn’t solidarity. It’s ritualistic drudgery.It's a good thing Professor Carter has tenure and is a best-selling author. Voicing such opinions normally leads to public shaming, firing, and in the worst cases defenestration from Harkness Tower.