Thursday, January 26, 2006

Recycling Truth

I have long been aware that recycling makes no economic sense. But by now, it has become one of the "universal" truths embraced by our government-run schools and indoctrinated into our kids who certainly are not about to believe their parents when everybody knows that recycling as a necessary part of "saving the planet". Well today I find another exposee about the economic lunacy of recycling programs and a demonstration of how Seattle has taken recycling to a new high. Now, they are ticketing households who fail to recycle by checking their trash and issuing tickets.

On January 1, placing more than 10 percent recyclable materials into a garbage bin became illegal in Seattle. An offending bin is tagged with a bright yellow slip that announces, "Recycle. It's not garbage anymore." The un-emptied bin is then left at the curb in hopes that the homeowner will learn the lesson and remove the reusable material by next week's collection. Businesses that offend three times are fined $50.

Cities end up paying the difference between what they recover from selling the recycled materials and the program costs. That means local taxes go to this end, to the exclusion of other programs or tax reductions. And the recycled materials are not in any danger of depletion.

Finally, households spend 16 minutes per week preparing recyled items. What is your time worth?

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