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Guest PenelopePitstop

Recycling. Is It A Waste Of Time?

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Guest PenelopePitstop

I had a friend who was totally against recycling with the view that Simon Cowell etc were flying to LA every minute.

But I can't help myself. I'm recycling mad! Can't bear the thought of throwing something away that could be re-used.

What are other people's views? Am I wasting my time?

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I like the mantra reduce, reuse, recycle; the first two are much more important than the last.

I've never seen it myself but I've heard a couple of people say that all the recycled glass, which has been carefully separated into clear, green and brown by the people throwing it away, gets emptied into the same compartment in the truck that collects it. Can anyone confirm this?

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Yes, you're wasting your time. If that material was valuable -like copper- then people would pay to take it off your hands, as it is we take it in as recycling and then wonder what on earth we're going to do with it. Most of the paper ends up being squashed down into compact bricks and then sold as fire'wood'.

Not that I refuse to recycle of course, I put everything into it's correct box etc. But I know it's just leftist propaganda.

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For fair sized businesses recycling is worthwhile. We bale up card, polythene and strapping on a large scale into half ton bales.

This is sold on to manufacturers for a decent amount of money - which is certainly better than paying to have it taken away. There's no extra environmental cost because the waste is just back-loaded from stores on trucks that are coming back anyway. There's large quantities of material and it can quite easily be chucked straight into the baler from the roll cages it comes back from stores in.

The environmental case for council's to have dedicated lorries running round collecting tiny piles of card and newspapers that must take hundreds and hundreds of households worth of waste to generate one bale's worth, is less so. Particularly as even once collected and sorted it would still have to be re-handled and baled to get it into a useable format to recycle.

Even with the recycling anf baling we do, truck loads and truck loads still go into landfill. Because Joe Public doesn't really have experience of it they don't really have a concept of how much businesses chuck away. Huge amounts of promotional seasonal signage and point-of-sale material gets binned all the time, as well as all those temporary floor standing displays you see.

The current household sorting and recycling is so insignificant in the scheme of things it really is just a sort of 'must re-use and save everything' human inbuilt Womble tendency gone mad.

I don't disagree with household recycling because I'm happy to wreck the environment. I disagree because I think it's a distraction from really solving the issue with something like all packaging become bio-degradable and being lumped in together and then findign technology to harness methane for energy from it degrading etc.

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Yes, you're wasting your time. If that material was valuable -like copper- then people would pay to take it off your hands

You're saving the costs of landfilling it - the economics of recycling are marginal only if you ignore the overall picture.

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I've never seen it myself but I've heard a couple of people say that all the recycled glass, which has been carefully separated into clear, green and brown by the people throwing it away, gets emptied into the same compartment in the truck that collects it. Can anyone confirm this?

there are scrap prices for crushed glass and

the green is far more valuable than brown or clear

so I would be surprised if they did not at least

isolate the green glass

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Yes, total waste of time.

I fully agree with reduce / reuse but these get little or no publicity because there are no grants in doing these things.

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You're saving the costs of landfilling it - the economics of recycling are marginal only if you ignore the overall picture.

Landfill costs are largely intangible taxation costs rather than actual cost though.

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They track pretty tangibly into your council tax bill

As does the cost of the recycling trucks, workers, multitude of coloured plastic bins, recycling manager non-jobbers, pointless leaflets on recycling produced and attendant pedlars of climate change mumbo-jumbo.

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Recycling is good if it saves on energy and raw materials. Aluminium is a prime example - apparently it takes much less energy to melt down old aluminium and re-use it than it does to obtain new aluminium from bauxite.

What I'm dubious about though is waste food recycling - it's pretty disgusting and the collectors often don't empty the bins out properly.

One thing I have stopped recycling is junk mail. On principle, and pointedly, that goes in the normal bin to highlight the problem and I don't see why I should recycle something that I didn't want in the first place.

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The best waste strategy is reduce or reuse. In the absence of that the only alternatives to recycling for a given kg of waste is incineration (for combustibles) and landfilling. Incineration is even more expensive than recycling and both incineration and landfill proposals go down in ANY neighbourhood like Salman Rushdie at the local mosque.

So overall recycling is the best of a range of imperfect options.

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You're saving the costs of landfilling it - the economics of recycling are marginal only if you ignore the overall picture.

Is it costly to dig a big hole in the ground then? What am I thinking, of course it is now the EU have fixed it for us with their excellent landfill tax.

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I don't like throwing something away if it can be reused but I don't go with the current mania for recycling everything at seemingly any cost. Don't know how true it is but I recall reading somewhere that recycling glass uses more energy than making new glass. If it's true then where is the benefit of recycling it?

As somemone else has pointed out, most stuff is essentially worthless. If there were a shortage of the raw materials then surely people would be paying good money for recyclables yet at the moment many councils have tons of the stuff they can't shift.

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As does the cost of the recycling trucks, workers, multitude of coloured plastic bins, recycling manager non-jobbers, pointless leaflets on recycling produced and attendant pedlars of climate change mumbo-jumbo.

Indeed

Do the economics though, and it pans out. Which, amazingly, is why it is done even by Tory councils.

Nicely bitter post though :D

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Is it costly to dig a big hole in the ground then? What am I thinking, of course it is now the EU have fixed it for us with their excellent landfill tax.

Yep, it's much better now people of the unethically governed developed world can live amongst mountains of the waste we used to put in landfill.

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Is it costly to dig a big hole in the ground then? What am I thinking, of course it is now the EU have fixed it for us with their excellent landfill tax.

Just read the post above this.

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Indeed

Do the economics though, and it pans out. Which, amazingly, is why it is done even by Tory councils.

Nicely bitter post though :D

Councils of all stripes consist of the same breed of jumped up milk-monitors/aspergers sufferers.

Where councils have subbed out waste collection they stipulate recycling - often the private companies would charge less for bulk collection to landfill.

There's loads of recyclables in our mixed waste stream but beyond the easily sorted and baled material, like cardboard boxes, there's no economic case to recycle. Generally, as soon as you start touching stuff much with manual labour, there's no money to be saved over landfill.

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Where councils have subbed out waste collection they stipulate recycling - often the private companies would charge less for bulk collection to landfill.

In the short-term...

Generally, as soon as you start touching stuff much with manual labour, there's no money to be saved over landfill.

Only if you see landfill as an infinite resource.

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For fair sized businesses recycling is worthwhile. We bale up card, polythene and strapping on a large scale into half ton bales.

This is sold on to manufacturers for a decent amount of money - which is certainly better than paying to have it taken away. There's no extra environmental cost because the waste is just back-loaded from stores on trucks that are coming back anyway. There's large quantities of material and it can quite easily be chucked straight into the baler from the roll cages it comes back from stores in.

The environmental case for council's to have dedicated lorries running round collecting tiny piles of card and newspapers that must take hundreds and hundreds of households worth of waste to generate one bale's worth, is less so. Particularly as even once collected and sorted it would still have to be re-handled and baled to get it into a useable format to recycle.

Even with the recycling anf baling we do, truck loads and truck loads still go into landfill. Because Joe Public doesn't really have experience of it they don't really have a concept of how much businesses chuck away. Huge amounts of promotional seasonal signage and point-of-sale material gets binned all the time, as well as all those temporary floor standing displays you see.

The current household sorting and recycling is so insignificant in the scheme of things it really is just a sort of 'must re-use and save everything' human inbuilt Womble tendency gone mad.

I don't disagree with household recycling because I'm happy to wreck the environment. I disagree because I think it's a distraction from really solving the issue with something like all packaging become bio-degradable and being lumped in together and then findign technology to harness methane for energy from it degrading etc.

On a similar note. The green types have always banged on about how bad for the enviromnent plastic bags are because they aren't bio-degradable. I fail to see the problem. They end up in land fill sites so what does it matter from an environmental point of view? It's not as though the landfill is going to shrink down in a few years when it's contents degrade so we can shove more stuff on it. Actually, if you don't tap the gas and use it for energy then it's probably best they don't degrade and relase stuff into the atmosphere.

Also, as far a plastic bags go, where is the problem with them at all? We are told we have to reduce the use of them because they are environmentaly unfriendly. However, they are made from naptha which is is a waste product of the oil and gas drilling industry. It's only use (apart from lighter fuel and such like) is plastic bags and the alternative is to just burn it off. The only benefit of this drive to reeduce plastic bag use is that it means the Mr Tesco gets to charge us 5p for something he used to give us for free.

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Is it costly to dig a big hole in the ground then? What am I thinking, of course it is now the EU have fixed it for us with their excellent landfill tax.

It's free from the point of land-fill because they aren't dug specifically for that purpose. They are dug to extract stone, gravel, sand, etc.

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Also, as far a plastic bags go, where is the problem with them at all?

Twofold: blowing around the landscape and looking shite, and getting into the sea and choking animals

edit: but yes I agree that if they're disposed off properly they're low on the list of things to stress about

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On a similar note. The green types have always banged on about how bad for the enviromnent plastic bags are because they aren't bio-degradable. I fail to see the problem. They end up in land fill sites so what does it matter from an environmental point of view? It's not as though the landfill is going to shrink down in a few years when it's contents degrade so we can shove more stuff on it. Actually, if you don't tap the gas and use it for energy then it's probably best they don't degrade and relase stuff into the atmosphere.

Also, as far a plastic bags go, where is the problem with them at all? We are told we have to reduce the use of them because they are environmentaly unfriendly. However, they are made from naptha which is is a waste product of the oil and gas drilling industry. It's only use (apart from lighter fuel and such like) is plastic bags and the alternative is to just burn it off. The only benefit of this drive to reeduce plastic bag use is that it means the Mr Tesco gets to charge us 5p for something he used to give us for free.

Prince Charles has been a big advocate of this getting rid of plastic bags. In a predictable act of hypocrisy his Highgrove shop gives out the most over the top carrier with rope handles imaginable - this is probably the main thing most punters go there for, in all likelihood.

Carrier bags are just an obsession because they're what people have a drawer stuffed full of at home. When they come in flat a box of 1000 it isn't really that large. The tonnes of carrier bags used per annum is tiny compared to the overall tonnage of product that goes through and I would bet less than the amount of negligently damaged product ditched.

People get similarly obsessed with things like re-using paperclips in offices which the entire UK consumption of would be a tiny amount of steel. It's just they sit in an office, rather than an industrial environment, all day.

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  • 141 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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