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Recycling: The Great Evil

KATHOLlCKATHOLlC Registered User new member
edited December 2006 in Debate and/or Discourse
So my topic for debate is why the American Government spends 8 billion dollars a year on funding recycling...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7734998370503499886&q=penn+and+teller

Please try to help show me the light about the good aspects of recycling!

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. – Thomas Jefferson

I am convinced that we can do to guns what we've done to drugs: create a multi-billion dollar underground market over which we have absolutely no control. – George L. Roman

Don't ever think you know what's right for the other person. He might start thinking he knows what's right for you. – Paul Williams
KATHOLlC on
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Posts

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Argument via youtube :arrow: win

    Apothe0sis on
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    You know, I've actually been thinking about creating a thread discussing recycling, because I think some aspects are worthy of questioning and as a whole it's mismanaged in the US, so blind advocates really should be answering some questions re: cost-effectiveness and implementation and such.

    This thread starter, though, is horrible. The position is lame, poorly defined, and not supported whatsoever. So anyway, maybe we can still pull some decent discussion out of here? Anyone care to address the mess that is plastics recycling and what we might do about it?

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • MrBigmusclesMrBigmuscles Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Whoops, I seem to have landed in the "Do My Homework" forum.

    MrBigmuscles on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    "The recycling myth"? Wow.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Penn and Teller really give me the shits sometimes.

    tynic on
  • MrBigmusclesMrBigmuscles Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    On a more serious note, people like to make the argument that recycling "doesn't work" because it takes more energy to recycle X bottles than just make them from scratch. I thought the point all along though was not necessarily to save energy but to conserve limited resources (like aluminum) and avoid creating new garbage (like plastic).

    MrBigmuscles on
  • Low KeyLow Key Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    tynic wrote:
    Penn and Teller really give me the shits sometimes.

    That's the show on really late at night with the fat angry guy and his gnome, right? I don't think I've seen an episode of it completely sober but it seemed pretty terrible.

    Low Key on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    On a more serious note, people like to make the argument that recycling "doesn't work" because it takes more energy to recycle X bottles than just make them from scratch. I thought the point all along though was not necessarily to save energy but to conserve limited resources (like aluminum) and avoid creating new garbage (like plastic).
    Watching the video on the link, that seems to be the argument Penn's making (though he gives the green light to aluminum cans).

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Well, honestly recycling glass is a waste of time, because there's absolutely no shortage of sand (as a matter of fact, if anything, sand is expanding) and it probably does take more time and energy to recycle a glass bottle than just make a new one. It's really a big waste. I didn't hear from Penn and Teller, I actually heard some report on NPR about it.

    The plastics are fucked up because there's no standard.

    The argument against landfill is dumb, at least in North America, like P&T said.

    Aluminum is good, which is why it's profitable. That's what P&T said, too, so really their whole position is sort of a mess.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Wow, those two are morons.

    I recycle into 4.

    Metal
    Plastic
    Paper
    rest

    and electronics/batteries when i throw them out.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • KatholicKatholic Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Fine I will sumarize my argument...

    There are the pinnacles of the recycling program, which are:

    1.) Saves Energy
    2.) Saves Money
    3.) Creates Good Jobs
    4.) Saves Trees
    5.) Improves Environment
    6.) Saves Landfill Space

    Are there any other positives you can think of?

    1.) So it saves energy right? So ultimately it seems to have some positive impact on our energy usage right? But what if you found out the truth that it actually takes more energy to recycle a product than to harvest new materials. The energy used by transportation from the homeowners house, to the storage facility, then to the manufacturing plant, and finally to stores is such a large amount. When this is coupled with the actualy energy that is required to manufacture it, you use way more energy. (Aluminum cans are the only product that is econmically efficient as well as energy efficient to produce).

    2.) It costs 60-70 dollars per ton of trash to go to a landfill. It costs about 150 dollars to recycle one ton of trash

    3.) It creates jobs for people who sort out garbage. GARBAGE. Our tax dollars are going to waste for basically a job that is equivalent to welfare since it has no positive benefit to society. Hurray for government waste.

    4.) We have three times more trees than we did in 1920. So we are not losing trees. Also, virgin trees farms are where most paper production comes from, not the rainforest. Basically, the more paper you purchase the mor incentive you give companies to plant more trees for future harvest. Ultimately, you create a net gain of trees by using new paper.

    5.) It is a manufacturing process that is used to produce these recycled goods. Not only does it use more energy than it should, but it leaves waste products (a biohazordous pulp is left from paper). We release so many toxins into the air from the manufacturing companies that produce smoke and other toxins.

    6.) WE ARE NOT RUNNING OUT OF LANDFILL SPACE. An area of 35 miles by 35 miles that is 200 feet tall could hold the entire United States trash for the next 1000 years. Also, landfills are not biohazordous because they have a permanent base of three feet of clay and 16 feet worth of clay on all other sides. Ultimately, these areas can be converted into parks or golf courses after they are filled to their capacity.

    So tell me why Americans should pay 8 billion dollars for something that has ZERO benefit and instead causes harm.

    Katholic on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    4.) We have three times more trees than we did in 1920.
    Okay, now I'M calling bullshit. Show me where you're getting this info. And is that just the US you're talking about or worldwide?

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Katholic wrote:
    1.) Saves Energy
    2.) Saves Money
    3.) Creates Good Jobs
    4.) Saves Trees
    5.) Improves Environment
    6.) Saves Landfill Space
    You know, I'm dead-tired and about to go to bed so sorry for the terse reply, but to begin this is a complete misrepresentation of the pro-recycling position.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Recycling paper is questionable. It might have been useful in the past, when we stupidly cut out entire forrests. But modern selective cutting techniques insure we won't run out of wood. We could create new paper for a long, long time without problem.

    On the other hand, recycling paper requires removing the ink that's on current paper. Which requires a shitload of acids and other chemicals. And we all know what plants do with used chemicals at the end of an industrial process...

    So not only is recycling paper not useful to the environment, it's actually hurting the environment.

    At least, that's what I hear.

    Richy on
    sig.gif
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    Anyone care to address the mess that is plastics recycling and what we might do about it?

    I hear alchemy works.

    salvationdr1.jpg

    Knuckle Dragger on
    Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.

    - John Stuart Mill
  • awesome_andyawesome_andy Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I burn all my garbage to power the outdoor burner that heats my water and my house. Not much recycling in the country.

    We should just load all the garbage on a rocket and shoot it into space.
    srsly

    awesome_andy on
  • KatholicKatholic Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Okay, now I'M calling bullshit. Show me where you're getting this info. And is that just the US you're talking about or worldwide?

    "We're squandering irreplaceable natural resources. Yes, a lot of trees have been cut down to make today's newspaper. But even more trees will probably be planted in their place. America's supply of timber has been increasing for decades, and the nation's forests have three times more wood today than in 1920. "

    http://www.williams.edu/HistSci/curriculum/101/garbage.html

    It is originally from the New York Times. I got to go for the moment and I will be back to argue later. I would like to apologize for the way i started the debate though. (New poster ;) )

    Katholic on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I burn all my garbage to power the outdoor burner that heats my water and my house. Not much recycling in the country.

    We should just load all the garbage on a rocket and shoot it into space.
    srsly

    Don't forget the criminals

    Evil Multifarious on
  • awesome_andyawesome_andy Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I burn all my garbage to power the outdoor burner that heats my water and my house. Not much recycling in the country.

    We should just load all the garbage on a rocket and shoot it into space.
    srsly

    Don't forget the criminals
    In the same rocket.

    awesome_andy on
  • WylderWylder Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    But what do we do in 1000 years when a massive ball of all our ejected garbage comes back towards us and dooms the entire planet?

    Wylder on
    No sig for you!
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Katholic wrote:
    Okay, now I'M calling bullshit. Show me where you're getting this info. And is that just the US you're talking about or worldwide?

    "We're squandering irreplaceable natural resources. Yes, a lot of trees have been cut down to make today's newspaper. But even more trees will probably be planted in their place. America's supply of timber has been increasing for decades, and the nation's forests have three times more wood today than in 1920. "

    http://www.williams.edu/HistSci/curriculum/101/garbage.html
    That. Right there. That is what I was looking for. The forests in the UNITED STATES are growing. That's all well and good. Now when you combine OUR forests with the forests of the OTHER 190-some countries on Earth, do they still look three times bigger?

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • awesome_andyawesome_andy Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Shoot another garbage-criminal rocket at the comet.
    Cmon Man.

    awesome_andy on
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mtvcdm wrote:
    4.) We have three times more trees than we did in 1920.
    Okay, now I'M calling bullshit. Show me where you're getting this info. And is that just the US you're talking about or worldwide?

    Also, not all trees are created equal. Forests planeted by paper companies tend to be of the same species of tree, which renders them vulnerable to disease and are generally not as healthy ecosystems.

    While on the other hand rainforests do a massive amount of the air recycling of the world, and support absolutely massive and hugely diverse ecosystems. And last I checked, the rainforest is disapearing at record pace.

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    [quote=[Tycho?]]
    mtvcdm wrote:
    4.) We have three times more trees than we did in 1920.
    Okay, now I'M calling bullshit. Show me where you're getting this info. And is that just the US you're talking about or worldwide?

    Also, not all trees are created equal. Forests planeted by paper companies tend to be of the same species of tree, which renders them vulnerable to disease and are generally not as healthy ecosystems.

    While on the other hand rainforests do a massive amount of the air recycling of the world, and support absolutely massive and hugely diverse ecosystems. And last I checked, the rainforest is disapearing at record pace.[/quote]
    In contradiction to popular belief rainforests are not major consumers of carbon dioxide and like all mature forests are approximately carbon neutral [2] [3]. Recent evidence suggests that the majority of rainforests are in fact net carbon emmiters.
    Or do you mean something else by recycling air?

    Couscous on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The carbon-ingesting half's not the half to be worried about. It's the oxygen-emitting half. I believe the stat is the Amazon alone producing a fifth of the world's oxygen.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    In fairness timber really doesn't bother me these days provided it's plantation timber. It's a set area which we grow up, cut down, and profit from. It's the very definition of sustainable provided we're sensible about it's expansion.

    electricitylikesme on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Mos of our oxygen is actually produced by sufrace algae in the ocean

    nexuscrawler on
  • mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    mtvcdm wrote:
    The carbon-ingesting half's not the half to be worried about. It's the oxygen-emitting half. I believe the stat is the Amazon alone producing a fifth of the world's oxygen.
    A quick check on google indicates that somewhere between 75% and 90% of the world's oxygen is produced by oceanic algae. I'd want to see a source on the Amazon thing before taking it seriously.

    mcc on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mcc wrote:
    mtvcdm wrote:
    The carbon-ingesting half's not the half to be worried about. It's the oxygen-emitting half. I believe the stat is the Amazon alone producing a fifth of the world's oxygen.
    A quick check on google indicates that somewhere between 75% and 90% of the world's oxygen is produced by oceanic algae. I'd want to see a source on the Amazon thing before taking it seriously.
    Nearly all of the carbon is used up by the animals in the rainforest.
    Recent evidence suggests that the majority of rainforests are in fact net carbon emmiters.

    Couscous on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    titmouse wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    mtvcdm wrote:
    The carbon-ingesting half's not the half to be worried about. It's the oxygen-emitting half. I believe the stat is the Amazon alone producing a fifth of the world's oxygen.
    A quick check on google indicates that somewhere between 75% and 90% of the world's oxygen is produced by oceanic algae. I'd want to see a source on the Amazon thing before taking it seriously.
    Nearly all of the carbon is used up by the animals in the rainforest.
    Recent evidence suggests that the majority of rainforests are in fact net carbon emmiters.
    This is hilarious news from my perspective. Of course, the big problem is there are other far more valid reasons not to burn down the rainforests.

    electricitylikesme on
  • mccmcc glitch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    titmouse wrote:
    mcc wrote:
    mtvcdm wrote:
    The carbon-ingesting half's not the half to be worried about. It's the oxygen-emitting half. I believe the stat is the Amazon alone producing a fifth of the world's oxygen.
    A quick check on google indicates that somewhere between 75% and 90% of the world's oxygen is produced by oceanic algae. I'd want to see a source on the Amazon thing before taking it seriously.
    Nearly all of the carbon is used up by the animals in the rainforest.
    Recent evidence suggests that the majority of rainforests are in fact net carbon emmiters.
    But, as the sentence before that notes, are more or less carbon neutral. My understanding is that while once the rainforest is mature it no longer absorbs more carbon, a great deal of carbon is trapped in the rainforest itself and so burning a rainforest contributes big gobs of carbon into the atmosphere.

    mcc on
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    But...

    But...


    There's just something so horribly wrong about tossing out garbage.

    Casual Eddy on
  • matt7718matt7718 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    Anyone care to address the mess that is plastics recycling and what we might do about it?

    I read somewhere that it would be possible to manufacture a biodegradable plastic using hemp. Truth?

    Who knows.

    matt7718 on
    mattsig.jpg
  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Wylder wrote:
    But what do we do in 1000 years when a massive ball of all our ejected garbage comes back towards us and dooms the entire planet?

    We thaw out a dimwit from the 90s to teach us how to make garbage again and shoot another ball of garbage of the same mass as the other one, deflecting it. Problem solved.

    YodaTuna on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    YodaTuna wrote:
    Wylder wrote:
    But what do we do in 1000 years when a massive ball of all our ejected garbage comes back towards us and dooms the entire planet?

    We thaw out a dimwit from the 90s to teach us how to make garbage again and shoot another ball of garbage of the same mass as the other one, deflecting it. Problem solved.
    But what if this second ball returns to Earth like the first one did?

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • CheezyCheezy Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mtvcdm wrote:
    YodaTuna wrote:
    Wylder wrote:
    But what do we do in 1000 years when a massive ball of all our ejected garbage comes back towards us and dooms the entire planet?

    We thaw out a dimwit from the 90s to teach us how to make garbage again and shoot another ball of garbage of the same mass as the other one, deflecting it. Problem solved.
    But what if this second ball returns to Earth like the first one did?

    Not our problem.

    Cheezy on
  • matt7718matt7718 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    mtvcdm wrote:
    YodaTuna wrote:
    Wylder wrote:
    But what do we do in 1000 years when a massive ball of all our ejected garbage comes back towards us and dooms the entire planet?

    We thaw out a dimwit from the 90s to teach us how to make garbage again and shoot another ball of garbage of the same mass as the other one, deflecting it. Problem solved.
    But what if this second ball returns to Earth like the first one did?

    fire the laser cannons at it

    matt7718 on
    mattsig.jpg
  • KatholicKatholic Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    That. Right there. That is what I was looking for. The forests in the UNITED STATES are growing. That's all well and good. Now when you combine OUR forests with the forests of the OTHER 190-some countries on Earth, do they still look three times bigger?

    "Deforestation occurs in many ways. The majority of rain forest cut down is cleared for agricultural use such as the grazing of cattle, and the planting of crops. Poor farmers chop down a small area (typically a few acres) and burn the tree trunks, a process called "slash and burn" agriculture. Intensive, or modern, agriculture occurs on a much larger scale, sometimes deforesting several square miles at a time. Large cattle pastures often replace rain forest to raise beef for the world market."

    Now there is only 15% of the world's rainforest, and I am not trying to justify what some logging companies do. But many poor farmers have to cut the rainforest down in order to support themselves.

    "In Brazil, for example, the average annual earnings of a single person in is US $5400, compared to $26,980 per person in the United States" (World Bank, 1998).

    If much of our logging is done on specific sites where trees are continually replaced, I just don't understand why it is necessary to go through a lengthy manufacturing process (producing tons of harmful chemicals and waste) when we have a RENEWABLE resource.

    Also, there is no reason to recycle plastic bottles when it takes more fossil fuels to reuse them. Also since you can't actually "recycle" plastic it becomes a problem:

    "Most recycled industrial nutrients (materials) lose viability or value in the process of recycling. This means they can only be used in a degraded form for components other than their original use. White writing paper, for example, is often downcycled into materials such as cardboard and cannot be used to create more premium writing paper."
    http://www.sustainabilitydictionary.com/d/downcycle.php


    Now I am not actually against recycling, but I don't think that Americans should be taxed 8 billion dollars for a program they may or may not be misinformed about. I am libertarian in nature and I don't understand why I should pay for something that is economically inefficient and damaging to teh environment if I don't support it.

    I have no problem with private companies/organizations taking recycling into their own hands, but I don't want my money being used to subsidize the industry.

    Katholic on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    celery77 wrote:
    You know, I've actually been thinking about creating a thread discussing recycling, because I think some aspects are worthy of questioning and as a whole it's mismanaged in the US, so blind advocates really should be answering some questions re: cost-effectiveness and implementation and such.

    This thread starter, though, is horrible. The position is lame, poorly defined, and not supported whatsoever. So anyway, maybe we can still pull some decent discussion out of here? Anyone care to address the mess that is plastics recycling and what we might do about it?

    The solution is 'simple.' Product designers need to take into account the entire life cycle of the materials that they are using. To design with the recycling process in mind, rather than force the recycling plant to deal with their shitty polymers because it was easier to be lazy instead of proactive. Recycled materials are shittier than the virgin materials and, in many cases, actually toxic to human health. Why? Because nobody thought about that far along in the product's life, they just saw how to make a new cheap toy and fuck the future of the kid who's going to play with it.

    Seriously, I cannot stress McDonough's paradigm enough when it comes to practical environmentalism, and regenerative design.

    moniker on
  • tony_importanttony_important Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Katholic wrote:
    So tell me why Americans should pay 8 billion dollars for something that has ZERO benefit and instead causes harm.

    I guess spending hundreds of billions on a war is helping america too.

    tony_important on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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