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[greenyes] recycling

RE: Ask Umbra Column in Grist Magazine currently about RecyclingFYI all here are some interesting comments from a rabid recycling friend who owns a hydropower plant near Sacramento, Ca.


----- Original Message -----
From: Char Henwood
To: 'Nancy Meyer Queen of All Good Things'
Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 1:31 PM
Subject: RE: Ask Umbra Column in Grist Magazine currently about Recycling

Good column! Thanks, Nancy (and Umbra).

I've been listening to this stupid debate since 1968.

If we weren't recycling and enforcing environmental regulations (however poorly), we'd all be living in landfills up to our necks in trash, and rivers would still be catching fire. They should be teaching American environmental history in the high schools.

The first reaction of organizations that want to externalize their costs to the public (as toxic waste or air pollution or whatever) is that forcing them to clean up their act will raise costs to the consumer. And maybe it does, but ya know, somehow, once fored to deal with it, these outfits find a way to clean up their act and still make money.

Sacto is a classic example. Forced to recycle, it started a program pissing and moaning about the costs, higher taxes, etc., etc. Now they arrest and prosecute transients who take aluminum cans and other recycleables out of peoples' trash barrels, because that's stealing from the city. Well, well. Must be making money from it, since I can't see them going to all that trouble if they were going negative on recycling.

The beauty (and the beast) of the US economic system is that once we get over the initial shock/the hump/being forced to change the way we think/whatever, we find a way to make a business out of the problem and make money at it ...


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