Monday, December 8, 2008

why can't i just recycle it?

For as long as Erin and I have been cutting back on plastic, 
people have been asking us "why can't I just recycle it?" 

Well, this post if for you!  

There's a major problem with recycling.  
Because of the recession, the demand for recycled materials has dropped. 
A ton of tin used to go for $327 a ton, and now it's worth $5 a ton. 
Paper used to sell for $105 a ton, and now it's selling for $25 a ton. 

A big part of the problem is that we export recyclables to China. (Did you hear that? Your stuff goes all the way to China! Recycling is not some magic cure. It's an energy-intensive process.) But since the global economy has slowed down, demand from China has slowed.  And now your paper, plastic, metal and cardboard are being warehoused at great expense to the recycling facilities and to Mama Earth. 

So like we've been saying: use less.  

Read more in "Back at Junk Value, Recyclables are Piling Up" from today's New York Times. 

1 comment:

Juli said...

If there is a silver lining to this recession, perhaps it will be the golden opportunity to rethink our infrastructure-- and include recycling (local, environmentally sound) as part of the manufacturing cycle.

I hope.