A Fine Line Between Stupid And Clever

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Rocket Science For Greenies

Posted by bmac on April 23, 2008

How was your Hoax Day? I mean Earth Day? It was fun watching all my local newscasters get positively giddy about “Being Green.” I think they all came a little.

People really are sheep. Nothing drives that home more than the greatest single hoax carried out on the American people: Recycling. Basic common sense would tell you that recycling is a scam, but even reasonably intelligent people seem to eat this one up. It just never seems to dawn on people that an entire 2nd fleet of trucks are used for this elaborate pulling of the wool over their eyes, even when those eyes see a different truck picking up their empty Voss bottles every week.

Most of you already know this of course, but I like to put in a little factoid for good measure:

Myth 6: Recycling Always Protects the Environment

Los Angeles has estimated that due to curbside recycling, its fleet of trucks is twice as large as it otherwise would be–800 vs. 400 trucks. This means more iron ore and coal mining, more steel and rubber manufacturing, more petroleum extracted and refined for fuel–and of course all that extra air pollution in the Los Angeles basin as the 400 added trucks cruise the streets.

Do you gotta be a fucking rocket scientist to figure that out? Multiply that by every single city in the U.S. and tell me you’re helping the environment asshole.

Not to mention the extra plants needed to separate the paper, plastic, and glass, all using power, all creating pollution. It’s pure insanity.

Here in my hometown, they’re going to the “one bin” system. Know what that means? ALL NEW TRUCKS. Yep, they can’t retro-fit the old “three bin” trucks, so hey, gotta buy a whole new fleet, as well as new machines to sort from the one bin. Guess who gets to pay for it?

What’s really scary is that

A: People are this easily fooled and..

B: These same people vote.

You want to recycle? Here’s the only recycling that actually works:

13 Responses to “Rocket Science For Greenies”

  1. S. Weasel said

    Plus, it takes more energy to make stuff out of recycled materials than it does raw materials (how do I know this? Because if it weren’t true, manufacturers would prefer using recycled materials because it would be cheaper).

    I’d love to know what percentage of the stuff in the sorting house goes to landfill anyway.

  2. bmac said

    Plus, it takes more energy to make stuff out of recycled materials than it does raw materials (how do I know this? Because if it weren’t true, manufacturers would prefer using recycled materials because it would be cheaper)

    Great point Weaz, I wonder how much energy is wasted converting recycled material into usable (somewhat) raw material, that then has to be trucked to manufactures?

    At best it’s all a wash. I have a feeling it’s probably less than a wash though.

  3. Enas Yorl said

    Hey, I can put you some f’n knowledge here. My first real job I got when I moved here to LV was working at the (then) Silver State Disposal’s “state of the art” recycling plant in NLV. I sorted through the stuff people put in their recycling crates picking out what could be recycled from the stuff that couldn’t. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that people would put in those crates. Anyway, quite a bit of the stuff was recylcable, but a lot wasn’t. Probably about 75% to 25% ratio of stuff that could to couldn’t. Problem was they had to run the line pretty fast, so a lot of stuff was missed. Plus, lazy workers who didn’t care and only really worked when the supervisor was around. One of the bosses told me that the only things that made the place even marginally profitable were glass, computer paper, and cans. Mostly cans though.

    I hadn’t heard about this part though: “Here in my hometown, they’re going to the “one bin” system. Know what that means? ALL NEW TRUCKS. Yep, they can’t retro-fit the old “three bin” trucks…”

    When I worked there they were all one bin trucks (well, except for glass, that will still be handled a little differently I’m sure). They were just starting to experiment with the separated trucks when I left. Too funny.

  4. bmac said

    Yeah, on the news last night they happily did a story on recycling, and they mentioned the new trucks to acommodate the single bin, as well as the new machines. I’m way too lazy to look for an internet link, but that’s what they said, as an aside real fast right at the end. The rationale was it’s money well spent to make recycling easier.

    I’d love to know some of the things you found in those bins Enas!

  5. eddiebear said

    I agree with Weasel: if it were cheaper to use recycled materials, more companies would use them.

    This is example 178,982,091,910 of the adage that with liberals, the intent that matters more than the results.

  6. Enas Yorl said

    Hmmm. I wonder what kind of “machines”? I can’t think of any way to automate the sorting process. Oh well.

    It’s been a long time. The trucks would dump their loads and everything was pushed into one enourmous pile by bulldozers. Then smaller bulldozers shoved parts of the pile onto a conveyor belt and we picked through the stuff on the belt. What we didn’t get was compacted into a container that was then loaded onto a truck to go to the landfill.

    Let me think…
    lotsa porn
    a couple of bongs
    showerhead displays
    bags of grass clippings. During the summer those things got REALLY ripe.
    medical waste – lotsa feeding tubes
    more medical waste – used hypodermic needles (why I quit)
    a dead calf in a garbage bag
    something that covered my forearms in dozens of little blisters by the end of the night.

    That’s the most memorable stuff I guess. After a while you stop noticing the WTF? stuff for the right stuff you’re supposed to get.

  7. bmac said

    I accidentally Tivo’d that particular newscast, and here’s what they said:
    “It will cost the county, and Republic more to build machines to handle all the extra sorting, and trucks to carry the new bins, but hopefully it will get more people to pitch in.”

    That was on channel 8, last night at six, for what it’s worth.

    a couple of bongs
    That’s hilarious!

    more medical waste – used hypodermic needles (why I quit)
    That’s just scary.

    a dead calf in a garbage bag
    GAAHHHH!!!!

  8. cranky said

    My economics professor thought recycling was stupid from the economics viewpoint. I recycle because I suppose it makes me feel good.

  9. Enas Yorl said

    Yah, the hypos were hyperscary. Somebody was putting biohazard casks in the recycle bins along with all their other stuff. Some of these casks were kinda big and could hold 100+ needles. From time to time the casks would get broken open and they would get jumbled up with all the other stuff. You go to grab some newspaper or whatnot and BAM! needles everywhere. A lot of times they were capped, but other times they were just bent. We complained to the bosses and supervisors, but they would never say what they were doing about it. Just “We’re looking into it.” One day I decided it was just wayyyyyy too risky for a $5/hour job and quit the next morning. They weren’t happy.

  10. I love all the recycling, “Earth Day” songs my kindergarten daughter has come home singing lately. The other day she asked me if we could celebrate “Earth Day”

  11. thewrittenroad said

    The main purpose of recycling is so that all those materials don’t end up in landfills.

  12. bmac said

    If you read Enas Yorls comment, you’ll see much of it does in fact, go to landfills.

    The main purpose of recycling is to create busywork, and some low paying jobs.

  13. […] was stupid from the economics viewpoint. I recycle because I suppose it makes me feel good. …https://bmac20.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/the-greatest-hoax-of-all/It's the Environment, Stupid.: Recycling Hits the Streets in NYC… the Environment, Stupid. […]

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