Recycling. Good or Bad?

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Today, recycling, maintaining our sustainability and taking care of our environment is a big thing. While the best method is to reuse our wastes, this often cannot be done. Therefore, the only way to go seems to be to recycle, to use the same materials to make that same product again and again. While this seems to be a great idea, it is not always the case.

I usually carry a water bottle in my bag. I drink bottled water not because I believe it is safer or cleaner than tap water; but rather merely out of convenience. It allows me to have quick access to water when I’m not near a bubbler or a fast-food restaurant. I also refill my water bottle whenever possible. This is reusing waste products, and therefore the best way to sustain our environment. However, water bottles break. When it is broken, I throw it in the rubbish bins provided, NOT the recycling bin. Why?

I think that recycling is somewhat a pointless exercise. It is not totally useless though. I recycle aluminium cans and such. The reason why I recycle aluminium cans and not plastics bottles will be discussed later.

In the New York Times, John Tierney wrote an article called “Recycling is Garbage”. In that article, he declared that “Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America: a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources”. In the article, he points out many things. For instance, packaging saves resources, reducing food spoilage. Fast-food meals generate less trash per person than home-cooked meals. Also, the cheapest way to dispose of garbage is in a landfill.

Recycling, however, costs a lot of money. The time, effort and money spent on picking materials and sorting them out costs more than it would cost to dump it in landfill. Then it would have to be re-processed. Tierney figures that the value of the labour of recycling to be literally hundreds of dollars per ton more.

People might say that landfills are taking too much space. However, it is a...
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