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Recycling - Is it a Savior or a Devil in Disguise?

SpecialChem / Feb 28, 2007

But is it really go(o)d for the environment? That depends, of course, on what we mean by "good," which has to do with time, with the specific resources involved, and with competitive environmental benefits. By "time" I mean does it help now or far into the future? Global warming is an example of future troubles which might be helped by environmental concern now. That is clearly a threat to economic stability as we know it, which includes an unhealthy amount of growth, and we will blow off the idea with anti-corporate and even anti-freedom babbling, rather than face the science behind it, the "Inconvenient Truth," as Al Gore's film calls it. By "specific resources involved," I mean that we must look at what is being recycled and the consequences of recovering that material. For example, recycling glass is environmentally indefensible, as its components are among the most abundant materials on earth, and its real "raw material" is the energy to heat and melt it to form a product, plus the additional energy and materials needed to make protective covering and transport the heavy products.

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