Yuppie Arrogance

Today's second hour of Forum was about recycling in San Francisco. They mentioned during the show that some types of plastic, such as HDPE and PET, are recyclable, while others, such as PVC and polystyrene, aren't. A later caller asked to be reminded "which plastics should be banned" and which were "better."

I've pretty much resigned myself to being disappointed by Forum these days, so it's not often that I feel the need to yell at the radio, but this one pretty much too the cake. These yuppie SOBs, the same ones talking about how much we need to help the poor, won't notice a 10 cent increase in the price of a plastic-packaged product due to lack of manufacturer choice in packaging materials, but the poor people you claim to want to help so much sure as heck will. Why don't you guys get off your high horse and start thinking for a change?

The second time I yelled at the radio during today's show was when one of the panelists mentioned how many jobs were "created" by each form of disposal: 1 job for incineration, 6 jobs for landfill, and something like 23 jobs for recycling! This was the same panelist who was claiming how much energy was saved by recycling, but only cited aluminum cans when giving figures. It takes one person to incinerate the same amount of material that it takes six people to put in a landfill or twenty-three people to recycle. Talk about a difference in labor costs! This tells me we should be building incinerators, not recycling. Then the 22 people left over can do something more valuable with their time, like providing services or manufacturing new goods rather than just getting rid of old ones.

Update: I neglected to mention that the panelist who was talking about how many jobs were "created" by recycling versus other disposal techniques went on to claim that because of these hugely greater labor costs, recycling is "good" for the economy!

Share this

well see,,... there ya go

well see,,... there ya go with that there logikal thinkin' agin.

Aluminum cans are the only

Aluminum cans are the only thing its clearly cost-efficient to recycle, so watch out for anyone who cites them as evidence for recycling in general.

23:1 is a pretty striking difference...hard to imagine that could be less labor than just making new materials.

Aluminum cans are the

Aluminum cans are the economic equivalent of frozen electrical energy.


For the past 100 years, all primary aluminum in this country has been produced in Hall-Heroult electrolytic cells that electrochemically reduce alumina to aluminum metal via carbon anodes and molten aluminum cathodes. This very capital- and energy-intensive process accounts for 2% and 3% of the electricity used in the United States every year

Regards, Don

Recycling is such an

Recycling is such an attractive option for consumers that many European governments find it necessary to literally make it illegal for homeowners to not sort their rubbish before it is collected by local authorities.

My experience with local recycling schemes in the UK suggests that whilst many local authorities may be well-intentioned in introducing mandatory rubbish-sorting and recycling (whilst others are merely socialists and tyrants hell-bent on making everyone recycle 'for their own good!') in most cases these schemes generate more waste and pollution than they save on - notably, many local councils in England have provided all homes in their areas with large plastic containers... into which homeowners are asked to place, amongst other things, some types of plastic goods for recycling. Not to mention that these recycling schemes are always accompanied by new refuse collection services operated from council vehicles powered by 'fossil fuels'.