Recycling a bad thing?

This is a partial truth. While most trees used for pulp are grown on tree farms, a lot of wood used for home building and hardwoods does not come from them.

Bigger threats to trees is encroachment by urban landscapes on forests. We won’t be running out of trees, but we can run out of forests. Yes, there is a difference

The Amazon’s problems is partly from lumber demands, but also slash and burn farming. Since S&B tends to be the domain of poor natives, and the lumber industry is evil capitalism, many environmentalists have found the latter a more palatable target to attack. In fairness, a lot of the less screechy environmentalists have been working hard on solutions to replace S&B farming.

Costs for recycling next to costs for landfilling are a bit of an invalid comparison. Landfills tend to fill up, and starting new ones in the area is an urban planners nightmare. Nobody wants one near them, but you can bet people built houses not far from the old landfill. The result? Landfills must be moved further and further away from urban centers, meaning more fuel costs.

It may be easy to start a landfill in some places, but it’s extremely difficult here. Ralph Reed (no, not the religious lobbyist Reed) has been trying for over twenty years to get permission to start one near here. The nearest landfill is quite a way from this city of 40,000 people, and all our non-recyclable trash must be containerized and trucked there.

A few decades ago, you could simply buy a valley and start dumping garbage in there. It’s not that simple anymore. After soil testing, environmental impact studies, and convincing the neighbors that they’ll get used to the smell, you have to persuade the county to let you go ahead. Dissenters will sue and sue and sue. You must line the whole thing with heavy plastic and a certain kind of clay, so it theoretically won’t leak into the ground water.

An ordinary landfill cannot accept hazardous waste. I don’t know what makes it different, but there’s only one hazmat dump in the whole state.

With all that in mind, maybe you’ll agree that we want to fill up the landfills as slowly as possible. Maybe you won’t.