Proving that garbage is not carcinogeous does not prove that it is not poisonous. The two are different notions all together. A chemical does not need to cause cancer in order to kill wild life, nor would it in order to make the ground unusable for many purposes.
You haven't proved that landfills are poisonous, just to be clear, and they still aren't. The article I posted is a condensed version of the full report (to which I gave a link), so it's obviously not as descriptive.
Landfills today are lined with several feet of compacted clay, combined with a "rubber" geomembrane which closes them off from the water table. The garbage is covered each day with a layer of dirt.
Furthermore landfill sites are typically unsuitable for construction because it creates a poor foundation. So it truly does remove the land from use./quote]
Removed from use if you're only concerned with building condos or shopping malls. Very much in use if you consider the parks, golf courses, etc, that go over the sites after their use.
Careful and necessary packaging to preserve foods flavor and freshness has a big difference from packaging designed for advertising. An aluminum can of tuna fish, does not benefit from a plastic wrapping surrounding it.
It's not only food - electronic equipment and other consumer products are also more susceptable to damage without protective packaging.
There is, obviously a certain level of excessiveness in some packaging, but such is the case in almost every aspect of Western culture; we are a people of excess.
But back to the food, the point was made (again, in the report) that packaged (processed) chicken generates less waste than if one were to pluck and gut their own chicken because the by-products (ie, the guts) are used for valuable products (like pet food), while at home, they would be merely disposed of.
I guess I should have made clear the distinction between household recycling and industrial/commerical recycling. It is much more feasible for large production industries to efficiently and usefully recycle their by-products than it is for households.
Paper is reground de-inked and repressed, into lower grade paper. This is not an issue. An paper is far easier to shred, then wood.
The question is whether the entire process of recycling paper (sorting, collection, transportation, sorting again, pulping, screening, cleaning, deinking, refining, bleaching, and rolling - not that simple) is more efficient and enviromentally friendly than using pulp wood. Those deinking chemicals aren't pretty, and neither is the waste (inks and adhesives).
This is a dodge of the issue. The fact that processes have improved doesn't mean that you aren't squandering the easiest to use of the resources. If you have processed copper, it is far easier to melt that and reuse it, then it is to smelt ore. It is pointless to forego the easiest resources first, it is even worse to take those easily accessible resources, and spread them around making them hard if not impossible to recover.
You're right; some things (like copper, aluminum, and steel, to name a few) are worthwhile to recover and reuse. But what household has a big pile of copper to dispose of on a weekly
basis? It's the things that aren't
worthwhile, like glass, plastic and paper, that are a waste of resources to recycle. Similarly, larger industries have a lot to gain from recycling their waste (demolitions, for example)
This is not the issue and is another dodge. There is no advantage to burying the paper, regardless of the abundance of trees.Yes there is
, if it means not wasting resources that could be put to more useful needs. It'd be like running a pump which consumes a litre of gas just to extract half a litre of gas - the results don't justify the expenditure. That's entirely
the point of this report.
Recycling almost always removes the mining aspect of the equation. Requiring only sorting to be added into functions that would already be performed.
You're just simplifying the processes to suit your own argument. From the report:
For example, the EPA examined both virgin paper processing and recycled paper processing for toxic substances. Five toxic substances
were found only in virgin processes, eight only in recycling
processes, and twelve in both processes. Among these twelve, all
but one were present in higher levels in the recycling processes (Office
of Technology Assessment 1989, 191). Similar mixed results have
been found for steel and aluminum production.
Sure, you don't see the big ugly mine, but you also don't see the truckloads of toxic substances being carried out the back of the recycling plant. The pollution is increased, its just less obvious.
I don't know where the hell the author lives, but in my state its that one truck will pick up 36 tons of garbage and 4 tons of recycling.
Well, in my province recycling day is one week, and the next garbage. It would depend on the volume of material being dealt with, I suppose.
Recycling is not about using less of a resource, its about using the resource repeatedly.
I always thought it was about using less resources, period. If 'using the resource repeatedly' means using an unproportional amount of another, you're not really helping your cause.
Ahh then perhaps the author could explain just what function a beer bottle serves me personally? I can readily explain the use of recycling, it gets cleaned and filled up with beer, or melted and reformed, and filled with beer. But an empty bottle serves me no purpose.
Well, lots of people bottle their own beer, to use your very limited example, but in general, people reuse plenty of things - plastic shopping bags for garbage bin liners, newspaper for pet cages, plastic bottles for water... Reusing materials is always more useful than recycling.
Recycling targets the things, we have no uses for, but that other companies can.
Yes, at the expense of other 'things', which don't contribute, and sometimes harm, the very thing you're trying to protect.
My Opinion of that school just went from none, to pretty damn poor.
Based on what? One of their professor's reports, which was prepared for a seperate organization (PERC), which you've misunderstood? I can hear the people at their admissions office crying from here.
Btw, the most profitable part of the US military has always been the aircraft graveyard, because of their recycling programs... But I suppose we should just dig a trench and push the planes into them...
Very good point... I want to stress again, for anyone who reads this, that the article/report attacks household recycling (the bin at your curb full of paper), not industrial recycling.