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A Bad Reason To Recycle

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Posted on February 27 2010 10:00 am
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by Rich Trzupek

If you’re like most Americans, you engage in a particular, politically-correct behavior week after week: You dutifully trundle out your recycle bins in the belief that you are helping to “save the planet.” You’re not completely wrong. Recycling is not, in and of itself, a pointless exercise. In some cases – aluminum is the best example – recycling actually makes economic and therefore societal sense. But, for many Americans, it’s vitally important to recycle because “we are running out of landfill space.” Is this true? Let’s take a closer look.

Before we begin, we’ll acknowledge that the landfill argument is not the only logic that environmental activists use to encourage recycling. Claims that recycling preserves precious natural resources; helps to save energy; and reduces water and air pollution are also common. Like most of the claims the greens make, there is a grain of truth to each of these statements, surrounded by a whole lot of hyperbole. We won’t deal with any of these other claims in this column, so that we can focus on the image that resonates so powerfully: that of landfills, full to the brim, taking over the beleaguered American landscape.

Read the whole thing.

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