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Question about Recycling Facts

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I'm currently writing a long research paper criticizing government-mandated recycling.

Right now, I'm looking for sources that prove recycling is impractical due to it's high cost and the ability of the free market to recycle goods when it's profitable.

I was wondering if you all could share your anti-recycling resources from books, articles, or academic journals with me.

I figure these resources would also be interesting to other users. I'm particularly interested in finding the study that Penn and Teller based their anti-recycling episode of Bullsh*t! on. While I've been looking for resources intently, it's been a huge drain to wade through many articles that are pro-recycling in my search. Thank you!

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It's also important to emphasize that recylcing is about resources, not about energy, and that most recylcing actually takes more energy (and thus contributes more to global warming if you consider that to be a problem) as far as economies of scale go, there is almost no scenario where collecting small amounts of a processed and diffuse resource, bring it all back to a central location, and then processing it again, and then re-distributing it - is going to compete on an energy criteria with starting out with a centralized location of a high concentration of a resource, and then processing and distributing it. In some rare instances it might be worth it, like aluminum, because the initialy bauxite electrolysis process is so energy intensive. Even so, 10% of the earths crust is aluminum, so I wouldnt particular care for 'conserving aluming' as that amounts to some hundreds of billions of tons of aluminum for every person on the planet. Hardly anything we would be running out of anytime soon. And I wonder if those calculations for aluminum include the big diesel garbage trucks that pick up volumnous cans of aluminum that are 99% air and drive them for miles back to a collection center. Usually that part is government mandated and thus subsidized by the refuse collector. I personally do aluminum casting and I don't even find it worthwhile to melt aluminum cans, there is hardly in aluminum, and there is more ink and dye on them then there is aluminum.

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I'm looking for sources that prove recycling is impractical due to it's high cost and the ability of the free market to recycle goods when it's profitable.

Ha ha, if you want a great source in that, look into this woman, Zhang Yin, owner of 'Nine Dragons Paper Holdings', which made its fortune in recycling paper. Her estimated net worth is $3.05 billion.

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I'm currently writing a long research paper criticizing government-mandated recycling.

Right now, I'm looking for sources that prove recycling is impractical due to it's high cost and the ability of the free market to recycle goods when it's profitable.

There's a small contradiction here that you might wanna resolve. If recycling is impractical, then it is impractical whether mandated by the government or not. And if it is impractical, then it isn't profitable. So it's not really clear to me what you have in mind showing.

For starters, there are a number of governmental involvements in recycling. Government is generally involved in waste-disposal to start with, and recycling is in part derivative of waste disposal. In Seattle, it costs the user more to throw out the trash than it does to dispose of less trash and recycle the rest, so this is government encouragement (not a mandate). Columbus on the other hand has (for a little while longer) a small soon-to-evaporate subsidy to a private recycler who then charges $8 / month to take our recycling as opposed to you throwing it out for free -- but they are vastly better at accepting stuff than Seattle is. NYC has actual hardcore recycling laws although I don't know what the penalty is for throwing away a bottle. There are mandatory-deposit laws in states like CT which basically fine you a dime for not 'recycling' a drink can in the proper fashion. So more exactly, what kind of government involvement are you addressing?

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Check out the balance statements of the publicly held waste management/recycling companies. Their income to debt ratios will startle you.

This has a treasure trove of good articles:

http://www.google.com/custom?domains=JunkS...D%3A1&hl=en

This one is especially good:

http://www.junkscience.com/mar02/wsj-recycling.htm

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