The Folly of Recycling

Recently, the local paper where I live reported that there’s a problem with curbside recycling (still voluntary here). Because of local government deficits due to the economy, it’s becoming too expensive to use separate trucks to cart paper and plastics to recycling centers.

Consequently, these items are being taken to the dump, along with all the trash. Does this stop people from sorting out their recycled items?

No way. There’s no outcry over this at all. This proves the point I have been making for years: Recycling isn’t about the environment. It’s about feeling and appearing “good” to others. “Look at me. I care about the environment.” If it were really about the environment, people would get angry about this. They would stop sorting out their trash because it’s a waste of time. I have news for them. It’s a waste of time anyway. Leaving aside the occasional and unfortunate natural disaster, and leaving aside war, there is never a prolonged shortage of goods in a free society. The best antidote to shortages is hands-off capitalism.

Capitalism leaves the best and brightest free to produce for us all, under the motive of profit. Capitalism delivers the goods. Sorting out your trash is nothing more than an obsessive-compulsive ritual designed to make a statement for those who hate capitalism.