About 6 years ago, I had a definitive article on why recycling was a scam. The short version is that it involves shipping materials to China or third world countries to be “recycled” there. We have no idea if the recycling actually even happens and the whole thing causes far more waste than a landfill. Once China cut off most recycling, the recycling bins became a meaningless scam that went right to landfills anyway.
California’s trash is going right back to landfills. 62% of exported materials used to go to China. But no more. California’s Department of Resources Recycling sent a letter cautioning that the “economics of recycling” had become “unfavorable” thus “challenging what recycling means to Californians.”
Now, NBC has a report on Palo Alto figuring out that recycling is a scam. That’s only news to the media.
Four years ago, city officials in Palo Alto, California, posed what they thought was a straightforward question: Where did their recycling go?
The fact that this had to be a question is already revealing. Most people don’t ask, because they don’t want to know.
The main obstacle that Palo Alto encountered was that the half-dozen companies that trade the city’s recyclables on world markets declined to name their trading partners, citing business reasons.
Unable to force disclosure, Palo Alto city staff concluded they are stuck.
“It is not possible to definitively determine whether the materials are being recycled properly or whether they may be causing environmental or social problems,” they wrote in a report published this year.
Also, it’s not possible to know if the Nigerian prince I sent all that money to really exists.
Recycling is a scam. Lefties force us to pay money to companies that virtue signal and then partner with international companies that just take the trash and dump it because it’s cheaper.
Concerned residents asked the city to require their trash hauler, GreenWaste, to annually report how and where their recycling was handled.
The city agreed, and GreenWaste complied. But as GreenWaste’s reports show, it could not establish full traceability.
A key reason, Palo Alto officials said, is that GreenWaste conducts some recycling through middlemen called brokers.
Brokers do not recycle goods, but instead buy and sell them like commodities. Industry participants say they play an important role in linking waste collectors, like GreenWaste, with recycling factories around the world.
But when GreenWaste asked its brokers to specify where and with whom they did business, they balked.
GreenWaste. That sounded good, right?
Except all these virtue signaling operations just route the trash to where it gets treated like… trash. And they can’t tell you where it goes, because they don’t want to know.
Winchester, of Berg Mill, said he attended a recent meeting but came away disappointed.
He said it felt like a missed opportunity to finally grapple with the “big societal questions” — the trade-offs — that come with recycling.
The answer is easy. Recycling is a scam. It’s unneeded and it doesn’t work. It consists of taxing Americans to hide their trash in the third world and then pay ad agencies to make cartoons of singing pizza boxes and soda cans happily describing how they’re being transformed into new products. (They’re not: it’s a scam.)