Recycling efforts need to triple
July 3, 2008 · Updated 8:47 PM
Every so often an opinion so dangerously uninformed is published, that I must respond. Mike Lowes Dec. 29 letter was one of these. Mr. Lowe is unaware of any link between recycling and human-caused climate change, and unwilling to look for one, so I doubt my message will reach him. But other readers may be interested to know the following.
Creating an aluminum product from ore requires 20 times the energy used creating the same item from scrap. The average paper mill uses 40 percent less energy to make paper from recycled paper than from fresh wood. Recycling glass? Save another 30 percent. Plastic? Recycling saves 70 percent of the energy used in creating new plastic (check out The Economist, June 7, 2007).
These energy savings alone justify a huge increase in our recycling efforts. Less energy used means less energy purchased from unfriendly governments like Irans and Venezuelas. Patriots recycle!
Other benefits: Youre conserving natural resources. Avoiding landfills means avoiding the methane (extremely potent greenhouse gas) produced by landfills, and avoiding the increase in size of these monstrosities. It also means saving road miles by not trucking your trash to distant landfills.
People, its time for us to double, then triple our recycling efforts. Dont be fooled by flat-earth society members like Mr. Lowe. The benefits of recycling are so substantial that it belongs at the top of every Americans must-do list. Recycling means more than just personal virtue. For America, recycling is necessary, indeed it is a moral imperative.