General Question

Snoopy's avatar

Recycling. Could you please share your opinion about this.....?

Asked by Snoopy (5788points) January 15th, 2009

I recycle everything possible.

Before you click on the link below, be aware that the word “bullshit” is used extensively in this link. (Laugh if you will, but I am trying to be sensitve to those who might be at work or school or have little ones around…..)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1444391672891013193

(Avert your eyes to the horror at 2:35 in the link….)

I credit fellow jelly uberbatman for bringing this to my attention.

After seeing this video, I am still recycling, but I am conflicted.

What are your thoughts?

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20 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I heard similar things about recycling years ago from an acquaintance who was an environmental scientist. I have never recycled because of it.

That clip was entertaining though.

I also know that most food labeled “organic” is bullshit. I work at a 125 year old family-run farm and have done a massive amount of research on it. Locally grown produce using the IPM method is the real deal.

cage's avatar

can you avert your eyes to something? aversion is to be disgusted by something…

We recycle what we have in the house. i.e. if we use a cardboard box or whatever we’ll put it in the green bin. It’s the norm for us really. We don’t go around doing uber-recycling though.
I sell all my old electronics online, which is nice for my pocket and nice for the environment that it’s not going to waste.

Snoopy's avatar

Sorry about the preposition error. But you got the point :)

cage's avatar

@Snoopy oooh, cheers :)

damien's avatar

Wow, that was 30 mins wasted on something which could’ve been compressed to 5. So, mainly their point is that it costs more and some people are getting rich off it?

I can see their point with paper, but with plastics, aren’t we running out of the oil used to create most plastics and so, by recycling it, we get more plastic before it all runs out? Their point about paper was pretty much the only really valid point I can see in the whole thing.

And their point about jobs is just plain dumb. “The jobs are shit, pay poorly and not fun. Therefore they should not exist.” Yeah, because being unemployed and broke is more fun.

I can kind-of see where they’re coming from, but I think the message should be that we should consider what things need recycling and what makes the most economic and environmental sense rather than saying we shouldn’t recycle at all. I can’t get over the jobs argument, though, that’s just plain retarded.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

“More people recycle in America than vote.” Haha, and the multi-multi-colored bin system? It’s like a cruel gameshow! Lol. Let’s turn consumers into garbage specialists! Exporting the dirty jobs to consumers, right? Well, if recyling that serious is really going to take place, then someone’s gonna have to do it. Glorious work or not. Question is, are there people willing to do it, and is it really that efficient to begin with? According to this video, it apparently isn’t except in the case of aluminum cans.

“I feel sad that they’re not connected to the heart of this world that needs to be recycled.” Are you kidding me?! That’s what you call self-righteousness to the max.

“Recycling will definitely save us a lot of money.” …Save who a lot of money? Have you compared the labels of recycled and non-recycled goods at stores? Recycled stuff pretty much always costs more for consumers than non-recycled stuff.

The actual recycling process, I think, should mostly be practiced by producers. Not just recycling, but decreasing the amount of wasted materials and resources to begin with, an increase in efficiency. Take the Mohawk flooring company, for example: http://www.mohawkflooring.com/. They take used water bottles and turn them into carpet. That’s pretty innovative, if you ask me. But does it save money? Heh, now there’s the real question.

At my former school, our professor had us watch this video called “The Story of Stuff ”: http://www.storyofstuff.com/. X_X ASU is like extremely huge on the environmental/sustainability (and, dear God, global warming) movement. They’ve even dedicated an entirely new college to it and have their own building for students who want to study it. It made me almost sick the way it’s like this subconscious religious belief system that courses throughout the students’ brains, lol. Is it really worth it? Who knows. Anyways, I think this video is a good supplement to this video you posted, Snoopy, for discussion purposes (it’s slightly biased, though). I can’t remember if it was on this video or something else I was watching/reading, but of the materials and resourced manufacturers use to make their product, about 90% of is goes to waste; the remaining 10% is the actual product (see the “consumption” section of the video). At that rate, you’d think the government should be getting on them about recycling and resourcefulness, not consumers.

I’m all for efficiency and resourcefulness, but no matter what you do I think it’s necessary to consider the costs in every regard.

But when you really stop to think about it, recycling does seem pretty wasteful (at least moneratily speaking) when you consider all the extra man/machine power that goes into it. Ha, my mom just bought some recycled copy paper, and guess what? It cost more than the usual stuff. Next time I’m making sure she doesn’t reach for that pack. What a rip-off.

Vinifera7's avatar

I don’t really get how it’s bullshit. Maybe the recycling movement has hijacked my brain.

Dumping biodegradable materials into a landfill makes sense, but plastic is not really biodegradable, right?

However I can see how recycling paper and cardboard is not really saving money or resources. Paper is biodegradable and it can be burned.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Oh, my bad. That “90% of it goes to waste” tidbit didn’t come from the flash video. I actually read that somewhere else. But this site: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Economy/Sustainability/backgrounder.asp supports it in the “improving efficiency” section near the bottom (for credibility’s sake), but that’s just in Canada. Heh. The stats are probably very similar in other first world countries, though.

pekenoe's avatar

great video, language should have been cleaned up a bit for us old poops (f*** is not a normal part of my vocabulary and I resent anyone that fills my sound space with it)

Burning paper good??? Hardly, the inks used for printing emit a toxin when incinerated, use colored paper as garden compost? Same result, the ink is embedded in the soil and is not edible, black ink is better but unbleached paper with graphite on it is best.

Recycling is similar to opening a door for someone that is perfectly capable of doing it for themselves. It has no global effect other than make you feel good. Feeling good is enough, what more could you ask for? Recycle what you can, if it feels good, do it, if it hurts, don’t.

To sincerely do anything to make a difference will take a huge effort from everyone. Not sacrifice, it’s not a sacrifice to substitute a bio degradable container for a plastic one. It’s not a sacrifice to use bio degradable materials for everything we use. Costly, very, that is the bottom line. Americans…. do without??? Kidding, right? If everything we used was bio degradable and manufactured with all bio degradable waste, then recycling would not be an issue.

We are killing ourselves with our consumption, it is a fun way to go though, watching my big screen plastic tv whilst sucking on a soda in my polyester nighty snuggled in my styrofoam insulated house sitting in my bead foam bean bag chair in my coal fired generated electric heated house…. What a life! Who cares that somewhere down the line I’m contributing to the death of a lot of people?

jessturtle23's avatar

Penn and Teller are comedians. There show is cool but should be taken with a grain of salt. They also have an episode where they praise WalMarts treatment of their employees, among other things.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Oregon just got a new recycling system where you can literally recycle practically everything. There aren’t a million different bins anymore, there’s no separating, no washing out… You just shove it all together, put it in one bin and you’re done. I’ve heard and read numerous times that it’s the best system in the Nation so far.

I’m sure recycling probably has a few drawbacks, but I’m also pretty sure not doing it at all would be a lot worse for the environment. Until they think of something better, I will continue to recycle.

Snoopy's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I am curious about this new recylcling system. We have lived in the same home for a decade and have never had to separate items….?

@pekenoe Sorry about the cursing…..It has been a few days since I watched it….I remembered that there was something they repeated to annoying level. I thought it was “BS”, but apparently it was not…..

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Snoopy It’s not specifically that reason Oregon is one of the best (although that is new for us, because we used to have to separate plastic, glass and cardboard – but no longer), it’s a whole bunch of things. Apparently we’re leading the way, in regards to numerous things. Like this: http://www.environmentoregon.org/newsroom/energy/energy-program-news/oregon-senate-passes-solar-energy-e-waste-bills

And biking: http://www.kptv.com/news/18487821/detail.html#-

Yeah, I don’t know. The list really goes on and on. We’re considered one of the most environmentally friendly states there is.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve always known that recycling is not economically viable…yet. Just like anything else, it has to reach a tipping point for it to make sense financially. That point will only come if enough people recycle, and buy recycled products. When done on a big enough scale manufacturing processes will improve, costs will go down (both the cost to recycle and the cost of buying recycled products), and we’ll (maybe) see the financial reward and a bigger positive impact on the environment. Now that may never happen, but I think it’s still too early to say.

In the meantime, reduce and re-use, doing without, and developing processes to eliminate unnecessary packaging will do the most good.

laureth's avatar

It may be worth trying to compare that anti-recycling guy’s “facts” against a reputable source and seeing if they are similar. Humor shows are funny, but not where I would go for definitive information.

Snoopy's avatar

@laureth I hope this show is BS. We recycle as much as we possibly can…..I would hate to think we are wasting our time.

pekenoe's avatar

Snoopy, it’s never a waste of time making a difference in a positive direction.

steelmarket's avatar

One of the often overlooked reasons for recycling is keeping this stuff out of landfills . If you are looking to calculate a bottom-line cost for recycling, you have to factor in the cost of maintaining landfill sites, and their long-term effects on the environment.

And, making money on trash is the American Way. Let’s face it, no one wants to do volunteer shifts working at the local recycling plant. Although, if we ever get mandatory national service, that is probably what more of those folks would be doing.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

I’m glad John Goodman is working again. ( :

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