Friday, April 23, 2010

Why recycling is wasteful

Today's Metro has a story about recycling - apparently some 200-year-old bottles were saved from being thrown in the recycling bin and have sold at auction for £5000. Which raises an interesting question: how many times has the same mistake been made but without anyone noticing?

I've long felt that the cult of recycling is harmful, and this story is an example of why.

We use huge amounts of energy turning sand into glass bottles, then when we're done we shatter the bottles into fragments and waste huge amounts more energy turning the fragments back into bottles. Why? If you have a bottle, and you want a bottle, why go through all that hassle instead of reusing it?

The simple fact is that people don't think about it. Recycling salves their consciences and makes them feel that they're helping the planet, when it's in fact making sod all difference to the energy consumption or waste levels - and may even be worse given the costs of separating waste. It's become second nature now, though, people don't even think about it. They recycle because recycling is good. Centuries-old antique glass is clearly glass which can equally clearly be recycled, and because recycling is good, it should be done.

Recycling has become a religion, and demands regular sacrifices to its ecological god such that consumerist crap can be reborn and the cycle begun anew.

- KoW

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