The secret is out: recycling isn’t working, because it was never really supposed to.
The Washington Post reported that more recycling companies, including Waste Management, are turning away from recycling, as the enterprise has ‘become’ totally unprofitable. They place the blame on the (well-meaning) masses who acted like apes when they were given larger recycling bins.
By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system. . . Residents have also begun experimenting, perhaps with good intentions, tossing into recycling bins almost anything rubber, metal or plastic: garden hoses, clothes hangers, shopping bags, shoes, Christmas lights. That was exactly the case last year, when the District replaced residents’ 32-gallon bins with ones that are 50 percent larger.
While many are throwing shade at those big glue bins, the truth is, much of consumer recycling has been a waste of time all along. The article goes onto explain that glass probably shouldn’t have ever been recycled. It’s heavy and breaks easily, contaminating the rest of the materials in the pile. Most of it has no value, and often costs money to haul away. The stuff that is valuable is “trucked to landfills as daily cover to bury the smell and trap gases.”