Obsessive Recycling

Dave Killion — September 12, 2010

Victoria City Councillor John Luton confesses in a recent blog post to be “obsessed with recycling“, but given the contents of the post, he is only half right.  That is, he is obsessed with recycling as many things as he can as often as he can.  Unfortunately, his obsession does not extend to understanding that sometimes recycling is the wrong thing to do.  He is obsessed with the intent of recycling, rather than the outcome.

The ironic result of such obsessions is that they frequently bring about exactly the opposite of their intent.  In this case, Councillor Luton probably imagines that by keeping material out of landfills, and by leaving virgin materials untouched, he decreases his impact on the environment.  Unfortunately, this is only true when the costs of recycling are lower than the costs of throwing out waste and producing new materials.  If you are being forced to subsidize a recycling program, then this is probably not the case.

If the government requires you, by law and under threat of penalty, to give over a portion of your time to washing some of your trash and sorting your garbage into different coloured bins,  you are not helping the environment.  If you are forced to hand over money to pay for recycling programs that otherwise can’t support themselves, you are not helping the environment.

So I encourage the Councillor to abandon his one-sided obsession with recycling in favour of a deeper, more profound obsession that takes into account the myths that surround recycling.  Then he can start doing the environment some real good.


CodeSlinger says


Precisely. Global-warming alarmism, mindless recycling, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, toilets you have to flush twice because their tanks are too small, light bulbs you can’t dispose of safely when they break, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

It’s a religion.

None of these things are rational. None of these things do much to accomplish their stated goals. Most of them actually make matters worse.

It’s a religion. A false religion pushed on people by schools, businesses, regulators and the media. The propaganda is relentless. People are bombarded with it at every turn. It takes a strong character to resist.

No one benefits except the corporations that provide these useless or harmful products and services, and the bureaucrats whose cushy government jobs depend on having invasive and oppressive laws to administer, forcing people to hand over their hard-earned money to these corporations.

We see once again that the greatest danger to our freedom comes from the unnatural union of big business and big government.

— September 12, 2010

tim says

Interesting theoretical observation but needs to be backed up by facts please. Do not talk about it prove it! I think for this blog to have any real merit it needs more then opinion. Anybody can have an opinion that is the lazy mans way of thinking. Please provide real hard evidence in your discussions.

— September 13, 2010

CodeSlinger says


The original post and the comment above consist largely of self-evident premises and conclusions that follow from them by simple logic.

So what, specifically, are you asking for evidence of?

— September 13, 2010

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