Time to recycle recycling?
Original post made by Jane, Professorville, on Jun 16, 2008
One of the curious things about global warming alarmism is that so many of the other features of traditional environmentalism are actually at odds with it.
Nuclear power is perhaps the best source of low carbon electricity. Genetically modified organisms can dramatically lower the energy needed to grow crops.
And in fact, striking at the base of institutionalized environmentalism, it appears recycling can produce more carbon than new manufacture.
Recycling paper is actually a carbon positive process.
Fossil fuels are required to de-ink recovered paper and sanitize paper headed for close consumer use. Compare this to virgin trees - which produce no net carbon provided a new tree is planted to replace each one that is harvested, as is generally the case.
Contrary to received wisdom, paper is one of the least recyclable materials in circulation.
Each time paper is recycled, it loses part of its physical construction. Structure is crucial to paper's performance - lose it, and performance plummets.
Paper is often recycled far more than once.
According to a study for the Corporate Forum on Paper and the Environment, the first time paper is recycled, it retains about 85 percent of its strength.
By the time it is recycled the sixth time, that drops to 38 percent. Yet each time, it is using the same energy and emitting more and more carbon for the value you get from it.
This makes very little sense from an environmental point of view.
In fact, recycling of the type that is so common - the curbside pick-up, the "green bins" - can be counterproductive. Web Link
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