No, I am not talking about this or this. I just finished sorting through my trash for recycling … cardboard boxes in one bin, plastic bottles in another, plastic containers in another, glass bottles in another, and what can’t be recycled out in the trash can.
Even if my time were not valuable, this is seeming to me to become more and more of an insane activity. Why? If doing this were so valuable, and so important, how come I am not getting paid to do it? It seems to be a neat racket … someone has figured out a way to tap the reserve army of workers to their advantage, and it doesn’t seem like it is the greedy capitalist caricature either.
The garbage problem is that one of the primary reasons people are urged and sometimes coerced into recycling is this notion that we are drowning beneath mountains of trash – soon all that will remain of our planet are vast National Parks of Garbage. This is flat out ridiculous. I don’t think many of the recycaholics ever sat down to do some math.
That might sound like a big hole, but there are vast tracts of land in the Midwest and Western US, and in particular in Alaska, where a piece of land that size is thought to be quaint. Alaska has 656,425 square miles of land, most of it completely barren. The amount of trash we would produce would make up less than 1% of the land there. Yes, that is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware, but they are small places. It is also larger than Rochester or whatever neighborhood you happen to live in.
There might be fantastic reasons to recycle (greenhouse gas worries, chemical worries, etc.) but one of those reasons most certainly cannot be because there is no place to put our trash. That is just some ridiculous trash talking.