Opinion: Recycling delusional?

To the editor:

Household recycling today does seem to be worth it, and can be a very important part of a good waste management plan for a community.  But, like most things, it’s worth it if – The right materials and items are being recycled, there is a market for these items and they’re not disposed of in the dump.

Communities and trash haulers put a lot of effort into recycling.  They bail plastic, cardboard, paper and waste and revenue received covers the cost of the service.  China used to purchase the waste, plastic, paper and cardboard along with mixed in garbage and food waste.  China got out of the business importing our trash in 2018.  This changed the positive recycling business case from a revenue generator to a money loser.

Today, household recycling in our communities is forcing customers to pay more of the costs.  Communities are rethinking recycling.  Mayor Heidi Herzberg of Deltona, Florida said “….recycled items aren’t being repurposed.  It’s going to the landfill anyway.  The increased costs is for what?”

Communities need to provide residents with a cost/benefit assessment of recycling.  The economics can’t be a delusion to make people feel good about themselves. 

Frank Mazur, South Burlington

Categories: Opinion