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June 6, 2018

SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS ABOUT RECYCLING.

It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good thing. But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud.

The New York Times recently reported that, unknown to most families who spend hours separating garbage into little recycling bins, much of the stuff ends up in a landfill anyway.

One big reason: China has essentially shut the door to U.S. recyclables.

The Times notes that about a third of recyclables gets shipped abroad, with China the biggest importer. But starting this year, China imposed strict rules on what it will accept, effectively banning most of it. That, the Times reports, has forced many recycling companies who can’t find other takers to dump recyclables into landfills.

One company, Oregon’s Rogue Disposal and Recycling, sent “all its recycling to landfills for the first few months of the year,” the Times reports.

The thing to remember is that recycling is fundamentally a religious ritual. Its actual impact doesn’t matter, but the hassles of sorting and binning are a sacrifice to the secular opinion gods.