3/30/2005

Recycling Domestic Waste

In the article Recycling Domestic Waste, it is referring to the two economic factors that limit the amount of recycling that can be done. The first reason is that recyclable materials must be collected, and the costs of these can be high. The second reason is the market for goods created from recycled materials is limited. People say that they can sort out waste before recycling, but they may not have the skills required. This is when it can get expensive because then you have to higher people to do it, and more money is involved. There are also economic benefits if fewer items are thrown away then the governments costs will be lowered in paying for landfills. So what do you feel about recycling is it worth it in the long run, will it save money?

3 comments:

Jones said...

I think that there is no doubt that it will be worth it for us to recycle now and in the long run. Already we put out so much waste as human beings. If we were to stop recycling what little bit we do now, then that would just add to our already huge output of waste. I say let the people and companies that can work recycling into their lives do it and I think that more of us should look at working into our daily routines. Sure it costs money to collect it and clean it, but it saves landfill space and is environment friendly.

Rex said...

Can we really put a price on the environment? Do any of us want to live near a landfill? I think the answer to both is NO! Sure it may cost more to sort out the recyclables in the beginning but as more and more people commit to doing it, the price is bound to come down. The short-run costs involved will not out weigh the long-run benefits.

Dr. Tufte said...

Gosh, I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but the economics just don't support recycling of most products. There really are not any entrenched interests that have a position against recycling, and there are quite a few (including public perception) that are in favor of it. Industries for which recycling is effective tend to be much further along the curve on this than the public: think about how long aluminum, waste oil, and lumber products have been recycled.

The simple fact is that recycling is subsidized and still failing in most arenas. Further, think about this: requirements to sort or clean your recycling are an implicit subsidy as well.