August 25, 2010

Trashy Summer Reading

You have two choices. You can watch Penn & Teller's B******t on recycling and be treated to topless women, cruel torment of innocent and sincere Angelinos. It's a great show and I recommend it highly.

Or, if you prefer less profanity (none as I recall), you can read PERC's awesome paper on the myths of recycling. It's 30 pages, but they are double-spaced, full of pictures, and very readable. PERC even goes a little deeper into the cost structure then my favorite libertarian magicians.

Both share a concern that the public mission of the trash barge Mobro in 1987 convinced all of America of a shortage of landfill capacity that was not real. This "crisis" was played by the enviro movement to create a decades-long boondoggle of subsidized recycling. The other thing they have in common is their conclusion: "Recycling is B******t!".

Environment Posted by John Kranz at August 25, 2010 7:05 PM

I lived in Boulder for 20 years so I'm ahead of the curve on "recycling is bullshit" awareness. I'm a militant anti-recycler. Except for aluminum cans, which I once read save the energy equivalent of 8 ounces of gasoline (recycled vs. new metal from bauxite ore.)

Posted by: johngalt at August 26, 2010 2:40 PM

...which explains the real, free-market value of scrap aluminum that has existed since I was a kid. The 3R fiends love to include stats like that, implying thatthe convesion of soda bottles to insulation is as effective.

Posted by: jk at August 26, 2010 3:37 PM | What do you think? [2]