The Dirty Truth about Recycling

08recycle.xlarge1 I’ve never been a big fan of recycling, because I’m lazy.  Until they make it the law in my neighborhood, I just as soon put all my garbage in one can.  But after reading this NY Times article regarding how the value of recycling is being hurt in this economy, I’ve learned a few things I didn’t know before – like businesses were actually making money on this recycling gig… Until now.

The economic downturn has decimated the market for recycled materials like cardboard, plastic, newspaper and metals. Across the country, this junk is accumulating by the ton in the yards and warehouses of recycling contractors, which are unable to find buyers or are unwilling to sell at rock-bottom prices.

But what really pushed my button in this article was what some of the 2nd Grade students “chose” to do when they were told the recycling program they started at school might be discontinued…

They chose to forgo recess and instead use the time to write letters to the governor and mayor, imploring them to keep recycling, Rachel Fisk, their teacher, said.

The students’ pleas seem to have been heard; the city plans to start trucking the recyclables to Kentucky.

“They were telling them, ‘We really don’t care what you say about the economy. If you don’t recycle, our planet will be dirty,’ ” Ms. Fisk said.

Now, do I really believe that 2nd Grade students thought that recycling was more important than recess?  Not one bit!  And if what Ms. Fisk said was true, shouldn’t she be correcting the students a bit by saying, “But children, without a stable, thriving economy, there can be no recycling, since no businesses will be around to produce anything to throw away in the first place!”

Oh wait… Maybe that’s the plan after all.  Economy be damned.

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