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Why recycling is not a solution

Original post made by Chris Zaharias, another community, on Jan 24, 2020

As someone who grew up and lived in PA until 2 years ago, I always found myself in opposition to PA's aggressive stance on recycling; to me, it's always seemed like a modern-day version of the medieval church's sale of indulgences = pre-paying to atone for sins in this life in order to ensure forgiveness in the next. Having had the benevolent influence of some great leaders in PA's Boy Scout Troop 57, we were taught that creating waste and then foisting it into others' hands wasn't good for the environment.

Seeing how [first] China put a stop to that Western offloading and now SE Asian countries like Malaysia doing same, IMHO it now seems like PA should reopen our dump and bear its proper waste footprint:

Web Link

Just my $0.02

Comments (12)

20 people like this
Posted by merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 24, 2020 at 8:07 am

Recycling is an expensive hoax


15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2020 at 9:10 am

As someone who grew up in times before the throwaway society that we have now didn't exist, I find it quite easy to do without a lot of the modern disposables. However, I think that we are getting to the stage of making life ridiculously difficult. I was recently with a friend who ordered Iced Tea with her lunch and asked for a straw, the straw arrived unwrapped but with two paper napkins so that the server didn't have to touch it! Grocery workers use plastic gloves to touch food items or pack groceries, and those plastic gloves end up in the trash. etc. etc. etc. I will not go through the trash my house guests leave in their bedroom bin, it is their business not mine what they might have thrown away. Everything has to be thrown in the trash at some stage, whether it is a broken chair or an antique piece of grandmas dishware that is sadly dropped on the floor and ends up in a dozen pieces.

Please let's get real. Sending our trash to the other side of the world and calling it recycling, is crazy!




16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2020 at 10:03 am

Posted by merry, a resident of Palo Alto Hills

>> Recycling is an expensive hoax

Recycling metal is almost always a large win. Web Link

Likewise, recycling glass can be a small win energy-wise, as well as reducing trash volume. Recycling paper reduces tree-mining at the source and is an environmental win.

Recycling plastics -- no so much. Many environmentalists try to minimize the amount of plastic entering the household. Not easy. I'm not sure about our current single-stream system, which was driven primarily by the desire to recycle plastics. I think a better solution would be to go back to metal/glass/paper, and, tax the heck out of plastic.


17 people like this
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2020 at 12:29 am

“I think a better solution would be to go back to metal/glass/paper, and, tax the heck out of plastic.” - agree 100%


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2020 at 7:51 pm

[Post removed.]


26 people like this
Posted by @(so-called) Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2020 at 10:52 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


10 people like this
Posted by reality based community
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:41 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 26, 2020 at 8:13 pm

I wish I got to read the deleted messages.

If you folks out there believe recycling ( now) is not about making money for governments, and their cronyies you are sadly mistaken.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 26, 2020 at 8:41 pm

Example number 1:

Why is a twenty cubic yard debri box cost over $1000 in Palo Alto , when right next door in Menlo Park it is $450?


4 people like this
Posted by reality based community
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 27, 2020 at 9:46 am

> If you folks out there believe recycling ( now) is not about making money for governments

First you said recycling was all about bumping up government pensions, now your non-sequitur deflects and moves on to the cost of debris boxes?

btw: "next door" is a different *county*, with a different for-profit *company* contracted.

Any other questions?


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 27, 2020 at 10:29 am

I like the system we had before when we had individual plastic carriers for newspaper, glass, etc. I still have those carriers. That was the residents doing the work of sorting and delivering to a location. And we could go to the dump by the bay to bring big items. That was always a fun adventure since it also ended up with a snack somewhere local - the golf course. And if you saw some interesting thing at the dump you could take it home. That was recycling.

Also up in RWC in the KMART parking lot there was a recycle center for glass and metal cans. A lot of people scoured the city to collect those cans and bottles to get some money. Now that seems like a very useful city function since a lot of people were cleaning up the city for free. I do not understand why they shut that down. There was more value in the people doing the work of collection and transportation to a central location.

Now I have one plastic bag that I put all plastic items in so that no one has to sort through the recycle bin.

Bottom line is that there are always some trade-offs going on which do not make sense. If there are people who want to collect the cans and glass for money than more power to them.

Another side note in Hawaii there are a lot of younger adults collecting trash on the sides of the main highways this in Maui on the main highway. I think they are getting paid so that helps them and helps the city stay clean. We can be more creative here and have a number of methods for trash collection where people can bring stuff in and get paid.

If the homeless people in the homeless camps could get paid for the cans and glass then we could eliminate a lot of trash that is floating around on the highways and camps. Cleaning up the homeless camps should be something they can get paid for. They would be collecting like mad if they could get the stuff to some location and get paid. They would be in the parks after the weekends cleaning up after the "regular" people who leave a mound of trash.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 28, 2020 at 7:12 pm

The city makes a deal with Greenwaste to split the money for the 20 cubic yard dumpsters. Zanker/ Greenwaste demands that they get exclusive rights, meaning no other company can bring dumpsters into Palo Alto. The idea gets sold to city council that the money can be used to pay down the pension debt.

They have a monopoly


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