Doing “Good” vs. Doing RIGHT

I found this link somewhere, and I apologize for not being able to credit the source, but here’s an interesting article on the folly of recycling that I felt ought to be read more widely:

Recycling Programs Cost Central Florida Residents

When Central Florida began recycling programs years ago, it sounded like a win-win situation. We were protecting the earth and saving money. But, instead, a Channel 9 investigation discovered recycling is like throwing money away.

No, it isn’t “like” throwing money away, it IS throwing money away.

It’s just about a daily ritual. You throw that plastic drink bottle in the recycle bin and you’ve done your civic duty of recycling. And after everything gets sorted out and shipped off, your city or county gets paid for each ton delivered. That adds up fast, right?

“Our material coming into this plant has probably tripled,” says Debbie Sponsler, Orange Co. Solid Waste.

Last year, Orange County sold its recyclables for $56,000. The problem: it spent roughly $3 million to pick it all up.

Wow! What a wonderful idea! Lose over $2.9 million in a year! Isn’t government efficient?

And we want these people in charge of our healthcare?

“We look at it more as it’s something we’re doing for our residents, and for the county,” says Sponsler. “We don’t do it to make money, we do try to cover our costs.”

Really? And a net expenditure of fifty-two times more than income qualifies as “try(ing) to cover” your costs?

Yes, you are the government, where a budget in that has only a 6% increase rather than a 15% increase is said to have suffered an 8.5% cut.

And that’s where you come in, again. The county adds a fee to your garbage bill to cover those costs, almost $3 million worth.

Surprise! It’s not saving anybody a dime!

In St. Cloud, city leaders were spending $220,000 a year on recycling, but getting back just $19,000.

Hell, they’re models of fiscal responsibility in St. Cloud. That’s only a 10:1 ratio.

“No, [we haven’t made any money off recycling]. It’s always been [a loss]. We’ve always been on the losing side,” says Ray Tobey, Superintendent of Solid Waste.

The curbside pickup program is now shutting down.

But will there be a reduction in the garbage bill?

Didn’t think so.

And, when we checked with several cities in Central Florida, we learned many admitted to either losing money each year or barely breaking even.

So why do they keep doing it? Not for the cash, but to keep landfills from filling up.

But there is real debate about whether we’re running out of space. In fact, one study concludes that all the trash America will generate in the next 1,000 years could fit in an area 100 feet deep and 35 square miles.

And while environmentalists say that’s a lot of land, others say, put it in context of the whole country. And, in fact, some communities are opening up landfills and inviting other places to truck in trash just to make money.

Get into an airplane. Fly at 20,000 feet in a circle of 25 miles radius from the center of any city, look down at the ground, and tell me that there are NO suitable places to put a landfill.

But in the end, regardless of debate, recycling is about doing the right thing, proponents say. After all, almost one-third of what we dump in those bins is now getting re-used, and countless jobs have been created.

Those are big benefits to that ‘save the planet’ plan, as long as you don’t mind picking up the bill.

Right. Jobs created by taxing people and redistributing their wealth through the wonderfully efficient hands of government, to process materials that are cheaper to manufacture new, and would produce jobs if “recycled material” wasn’t MANDATED by the very governments that waste taxpayer money forcing people to recycle.

It’s not the “right” thing to do. It’s environmental do-goodism. That is all.

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