‘Pretend recycling’ makes liberals feel better about themselves and their community

American Thinker:

This is hardly a new story, but every so often, the liberal media shine a light on it: how some of the junk that is supposedly “recycled” is actually thrown in the trash.

In recent months, in fact, thousands of tons of material left curbside for recycling in dozens of American cities and towns – including several in Oregon – have gone to landfills.

Recycling is uneconomical, in part because small impurities in materials to be recycled can make such materials useless.

“There are some states and some markets where mixed paper is at a negative value,” said Brent Bell, vice president of recycling at Waste Management, which handles 10 million tons of recycling per year.

In the Pacific Northwest, Republic has diverted more than 2,000 tons of paper to landfills since the Chinese ban [on imported paper] came into effect, Mr. Keller said.  The company has been unable to move that material to a market “at any price or cost,” he said.

Theresa Byrne, who lives in Salem, Ore., said the city took too long to inform residents that most plastics and egg and milk cartons were now considered garbage.  “I was angry,” she said.  “I believe in recycling.”  MORE HERE

41 Comments on ‘Pretend recycling’ makes liberals feel better about themselves and their community

  1. Never jumped on the recycling bandwagon. It was phony feel good bullshit from day one. Especially glass.
    What. Are we running out of sand?




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  2. When my first son was a kid, I wanted to teach him the importance of recycling. We saved plastic for months until we had a heaping pick-up truck full. One Saturday, we drove to he recycle center to have it weighed and get cash for our efforts. I couldn’t believe when the guy gave us a check for $1.26. That didn’t even pay for the gas to bring it to the recycle center. Screw recycling!




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  3. Feeling self righteous is an important part of being a liberal. It has probably led to lots of erroneous laws and regulations because it brings smug good emotions to progressives.




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  4. Lazlo does not fancy depriving future scavengers of their trade goods
    Who am I to steal from future generations of small entrepreneurs?
    Let sleeping tin cans lie




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  5. In the Minneapolis airport, there receptacles (garbage cans) marked, “garbage to energy”.
    Apparently, they’re burning the stuff. Who knows if any energy, other than the warm glow of a fire, is created.




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  6. Beer Cans are about the only real recyclable materials

    I recycle the sh*t out of them..But I only see Trash Semis

    leaving the Keys…Never a “clean smelling/looking ” Trucks.




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  7. We have a recycle bin just like the one depicted in the post image. We fill it up through out the week with recyclables. When garbage day rolls around, I take the recycle bin and empty it into the trash can and roll a single can to the curb.

    Some of my neighbors wrestle with 4 to 6 of these bins, each 1/3 full because they seem to think separating recyclables makes a difference. It all gets tossed in the same truck. Many times the recycle truck doesn’t make the route and all the recyclables are tossed into garbage right off the bat anyhow.

    The only time I participate in the recycle program is when our accumulated recyclables don’t fit in the trash can.




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  8. I remember reading about the “metal drives” during WWII – and the later admission that the scrap was collected and ignored and that the program’s intention was to make “every-day” Americans feel “like they were contributing” to the war.

    In other words: Propaganda and Bullshit.
    Seems to work better on “some” people than on others.
    Like this moron who “believes” in re-cycling – she probably “believes” in Globaloney Warming, too (not to mention being “Ready for Hillary” or the “belief” that izlam is the “religion of peace”). There’s a Sucker born every minute.
    Twenty-five years ago Maryland was taking “re-cycled” newspapers to landfills.
    And down at the “re-cycling” center the trucks (even though they had different docks) all dumped into the same hole.

    izlamo delenda est …




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  9. I heard they are using recycled plastic to make recycling bins to collect plastic in order to make more recycling bins. The never ending recycle of life.




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  10. Tim is 100% spot on. The “Scrap Drives” during World War II made everyone’s hearts-and-minds feel part of the fight. Tires and toasters were useless for the war effort. The U.S. Mint even stopped issuing copper pennies in favor of steel cents to “make more bullet casings for our boys to win the war.”

    Rationing was another “feel-good pain” for home-front patriotism. Don’t get me started on that. “Save your fats to beat the Japs.”




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  11. Side note: the recycling zealots frequently trot out the argument that “All our landfills will be closed in twenty years!” What they don’t tell you is that most states license landfills for twenty years, and after that time they have to capped off. In other words, it is always true that all current landfills will be closed within twenty years. But new ones will be licensed in the meantime.




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  12. Decades ago I read about a theft ring in SoCal that would run around at night and steal (usually brand new) plastic milk crates from supermarket loading docks. The crates would be ground down into pellets, the pellets shipped to Taiwan, where they would be molded into…plastic milk crates, which were sent to the USA . Now THAT’S recycling!




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  13. To start out I am not in any way a person who holds for one second the virtue of recycling.

    Recycling only made sense when it was voluntary and had a viable marketplace. As soon as you mandate recycling you overwhelm the consumers of those materials and obviously the materials not recycled have to go somewhere.

    Reality says that it would be better to reduce the waste at the source as opposed to the disposal. The problem is that people do not want to pay more for a product simply because the end packaging that is left over is more easily recycled.

    Economics dictate how products we buy are packaged. Most all businesses use the cheapest effective method as to do anything else is contrary to sound business economics.

    Rabid eco-freaks want everything made to protect Gaia (Mother Earth) and to hell with the costs. Thankfully they are a precious few. Unfortunately, they are VERY LOUD in order in their efforts to force their ideas on the rest of us.

    In the long run, the marketplace determines how things are done and only by changing some aspect of the circle of business and consumption can any meaningful change be effected.




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  14. I’m all for recycling, except I only recycle valuable stuff. Gold, silver, copper, brass, aluminum and steel. In that order too, gold is far more valuable than steel. I used to save cans, because I rip through 30 packs like they’re going out of style. However, I moved away from the scrap yard and it just became a waste for the $20-$40 in cans I collected.




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  15. Recycling is not bullshit, it is a rip off.
    Governments don’t run the operations, they hire crony monopoly buddies to ‘run’ the recycling ops. They get paid for YOU to rinse out your cat food tins, etc and sort your refuse so THEY can sell the valuable commodities they glean and throw everything else in the landfill.

    Might as well be carbon credits. The Environment was always the lowest consideration.

    The entire shebang should be opened to private enterprise. There are profits to be made. Cut out the corruption first, i.e. grubermint, unions, monopolies…..

    That, and reduce all the friggin packaging that has EXPLODED since online shopping.




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  16. We recycle, but most trash isn’t recyclable. Almost none of the soft plastic packaging from supermarkets, etc isn’t recyclable, but most don’t realize this.

    Aluminum cans, cardboard and hard plastics are about it.

    Another massively expensive feel good hoax.




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  17. What I want to know is,,,?
    Just where are the photographs of that huge “floating plastic Island” in the middle of the Pacific?
    With satellite, GPS, drones, there has to be some pics.
    I haven’t seen any, anybody have them, Bueller, Bueller?
    My recycling center/dump is very well run, we go and there are bins for you to separate stuff into.
    Household garbage, glass, cans, alum cans, appliances, metal, plastic soda bottles, construction trash, oil, tires, paint and a bonus, a shed where you can leave things you think others may have a use for, tons of books and clothes.
    It’s pretty convenient and accessible. I don’t know if it works, if the county makes enough to pay the attendants.
    Don’t really care, it’s convenient , clean and attended by people who are friendly but make you follow the reasonable rules.
    The attendants are all old retired people who need a little something extra, that’s OK by me.
    Closed Wednesday and Sunday.
    Don’t mind doing it myself, it would chap my ass to be FORCED to pay for it to be done.
    I hate eco-Nazis.




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  18. We have a voluntary recycling program that cost $6/month if you volunteered. I told Mrs. Frank that it was bullshit and all the garbage ended up in the same pile. I also told her that even if it did end up getting recycled they burned more in diesel fuel energy than would be saved from the energy needed to harvest the original natural resource. Our town is flyover central.
    Of course she had to “feel good” so we started. Last year the city sent a mailer out to tell people that contaminated loads were being rejected in total and had a list of what you could put in the recyclables. The mrs. finally saw the light and said “if all we can recycle is clean aluminum and one type of hard plastic whats the use?” I said exactly and the can went bye bye and all was right with the world.




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  19. Our trash man puts BOTH the regular and recycle IN THE SAME DAMN TRUCK! (And no it’s not one of those dual types.)
    They have been so over-whelmed by cardboard from Amazon boxes that we now have to tie it in bundles for them I am tired of doing other peoples jobs and having to pay through the nose for it.




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  20. I just did a YouGov survey about this. They asked if we would still recycle after finding out that it’s being sent to landfills along with the garbage. I was surprised at how many said they would still recycle (about 70%).

    That just reinforces the point that it’s a “feel good” thing and doesn’t even matter to these people that what they are doing means nothing.

    I said that I’d throw the recycling in the trash.




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  21. Where I live we have to recycle. Garbage pickup is once every two weeks. The garbage police watch the transfer stations and if a collection company drops off too much garbage, they get fined. And your cardboard, down to and including empty Kleenex boxes, has to be crushed and separated or they won’t pick it up. We also have food bins to put our food waste in because they can’t be in the garbage or the recycling.

    At food courts in malls, you have to separate the organics from the recyclables. We just say screw it and leave it for the people who bus the tables.

    It has less to do with recycling and more to do with “We are the government and we do this because we can.”




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  22. Hubby works in recycling, started out in the paper mills. Yup, these markets are dying. There is about a 5 year cycle up and down, most businesses can’t bank enough during the good times to cover the bad times in that 5 year cycle. This is also the 2nd time the Chinese have come close to killing the industry completely, last time was when they hosted the Olympics. Pulled so many materials globally it altered the market. One day they just stopped their demand and the market collapsed.

    Here we go again.




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  23. Stop making things of poor quality with inferior materials, and maybe people would be less inclined to throw them away.




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  24. I admit it. I recycle. I use those plastic grocery bags when I scoop out the cat box, then I chuck the cat shit loaded bag into the trash. I’m doing my part. How ’bout you?




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  25. I knew about the recycling being bullshit, but I’m curious about the lawn clippings and branches that are separated. Are they even being used for mulch and blah blah blah?




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  26. MJA — I don’t know about other cities but here in King County (Seattle) there is a robust composting industry. But, again, all the stuff comes from consumers and then we all go to the mulch/bark/compost places, load it all up and bring it back home for our lawns and gardens. The price isn’t too bad. We just mulched all our gardens again this spring for about $45.00. Beats buying bags of mulch! It would have cost about $130.00 if bagged. We don’t recycle clean green at the curb, though. We take it in brown bags to the dump/compost site for recycling. But most city dwellers don’t have a truck to do that.




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  27. ….have NEVER composted food waste! All our neighbors who are religious about it have HUGE rat infestations. No thank you!




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  28. We are only allowed one trash can load per week, plus the recycling can on another day. Consequently I put anything that remotely appears to be recyclable into the purple can to free up space in the trash can. I know most of the stuff gets thrown away but I’m able to throw away two cans full a week. My favorite thing is dump all my shredded paper in the recycling can. I can imagine the confetti party at the place.




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  29. the city (town) where I live gave us a big tub for recycling and I gave it a go. After 3 weeks of them not taking my recycling because “I didn’t do it right” (complete with a large sticker slapped on the side detailing how I failed) I gave up and quit doing it.

    Now we get a 2nd large trash can for “recycling” but I’m pretty sure they just dump it because I’m sure I don’t “comply” with their standards lol.

    I put packing materials and plastic jugs and boxes and so on in there, saves room in the garbage can. Shrug.




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