Now that diesel fuel prices are well over $4 per gallon, shouldn’t we ask: ought our government really be sending around diesel trucks – in addition to garbage trucks – to collect silicon (abundant) and paper (renewable) much less metal? Is it worth burning precious energy to assuage people’s fears that a plastic bottle might lie in the ground for as long as the clay pots of Sumer?
It’s time to revisit our recycling policies. The city of Raleigh says: "Recycling helps preserve natural resources, protects the air, soil, and groundwater, and keeps disposal costs down. Raleigh recycling programs recover over 19,000 tons every year." But does it preserve natural resources, or destroy them? Think about it. (Hint: use price and folks’ willingness to pay you for your trash as an indicator).
Last year’s N.C. recycling bill will create tons of added costs and rescue a lot of unnecessary bottles and cans, while virtually guaranteeing that no new landfills will be built in the state. Somebody’s got it very, very backwards in our state government. Citizens are just letting it happen.