Recycling in recent years has become a huge part of many people’s daily routines and it has become somewhat of a habit to sort our plastics from our papers and our metals from our glass. But I want to look into the idea that some people think that it takes more energy to recycle waste than it actually saves…
It all sounds a little farfetched and with so many experts continually drumming the importance of recycling into our heads; how can it use up more energy than it saves? The problem now is that more people are jumping on the ‘recycling is rubbish’ bandwagon but it’s surely worth putting to the test before we decide on whether recycling is really just a load of rubbish!
The 3 R’s!
Recycling is actually the last option when it comes to saving the planet — reusing and reducing are far more important as the less we use in the first place; the less we have to recycle. Simple right?
So before we all start fighting our local authorities on the necessities of recycling, it is vital to get the facts right first. If we can start using less, when we do use we should then reuse and then after all the limited using and reusing we can manage — it’s finally time to recycle! So how much recycling costs is actually down to us…
So What if it Costs More?
Some (and it’s important to stress only some) recycling plants do cost more to run and manage than a garbage disposal company but this begs the question that isn’t it worth paying out a little more to save our planet? After all, we are the ones making the mess so why shouldn’t we have to pay to clear it up?
According to the Daily Green article New York City didn’t think so back in 2002 when it got rid of its plastic and glass recycling projects as the price outweighed the benefits with the overall cost of recycling being twice that of disposal. However, after the closure of many landfills around the city; recycling of glass and plastic became viable again and after a little trial and error — NYC is now proud to recycle once again and not at a large cost.
Patience is a Virtue (and a saviour of our planet?)
The problem in this fast-paced day and age is that everyone wants things done quickly and properly but it is vital to stress that recycling efficiently cost-wise and eco-friendly-wise will take time. Practice makes perfect after all and with old tires being turned into roads rather than landfill waste; how can we justify simply throwing things away?
The benefits of recycling dramatically outweigh the downfalls — which incidentally are minimal and over time should be reduced even further as it will become easier and cheaper to manage the recycling systems.
Fact vs. Fiction
FACT: Recycling does not normally cost more energy than it saves and neither does it cost more money than garbage collections.
This is a fact and whether or not a random journalist gets a bee in his bonnet about having to put a few plastic bottles in a separate bin bag — this still remains as a fact. Recycling is beneficial to our environment and the skeptics among us may have to wait a few years for the systems to run more efficiently before they realize that they have no basis from which to push that argument.