Opinion: New York Times admits recycling is a sham

As some on the left evidently see their political views as being akin to their religious views, it can be difficult for them to change their views after being proven wrong. Therefore, it is promising when those on the left admit their failures, even if this admission comes decades after conservatives were able to see through these views.

The latest example of a change-of-heart is with recycling. Recently, the New York Times reported that cities across the United States are curbing or ending their recycling programs, finding that these programs were either too expensive or had too little of an environmental benefit to make them worth continuing.

There are many reasons for the changes to recycling programs. About one-third of the material had been sent abroad, mainly to China, which has recently stopped importing American materials after complaining that too many non-recyclables have been mixed in with recyclables. With fewer end-buyers of recyclables, American recycling companies have had to charge more money to cities to collect discarded recyclables.

The Times reported that cities are instead taking a multi-pronged approach to waste, such as burning the waste — but in an environmentally-friendly manner that creates energy. Other cities are focusing on eliminating plastics, such as plastic bags and straws.

Still, the loss of recycling programs will have little adverse affect on the environment and on landfill usage. An earlier New York Times report by environmental reporter John Tierney showed that recycling has little benefit to the economy. Tierney also found that the threat of landfills taking over settled land is overblown, and that all of the trash that humans will produce for the next 1,000 years would fit into 0.1 percent of the available grazing land.

This turnabout in recycling comes as newly-elected Democrats push for a “Green New Deal” that may cost over $93 trillion. In a recurring pattern, Americans seem to love social programs, especially ones that help the environment, as long as somebody else has to pick up the tab.



  1. James Aranes says

    I think recycling should continue, but with a more intelligent approach. Not everything one is allowed to put in a recycling bin should put recycled. Things with an immediate usefulness, e.g., cardboard, aluminum cans, should still be recycled.

    1. Terrance P O'Grady says

      Who is going to recycle it now that China won’t buy it. Putting it in the bin doesn’t do anything unless someone buys it and re-purposes it.

  2. xsnake says

    For a paper that has yet to think that the old bag still hasn’t lost the election…..this is a welcome “one eighty” on environmental dogma.

  3. Mike H. says

    Necessity is the Mother of Invention. You have to remember that they first said that the only thing that was useful to recycle was aluminum. Then they added cardboard. Then paper. Later, certain plastics. After that, more plastics. One recycling company for a small city in Minnesota said that they could recycle chicken bones and egg shells!
    I have never stopped putting any plastics, or dirty paper, into the recycling. When driven to it, people use ingenuity to provide creative solutions.
    The ones that are complaining are the ones that are actually making a profit from the current recycling ‘status quo’. They see the additional things that they are NOT making money from as a ‘loss’ and then feel that they will abandon the project so that they do not ‘lose’ anymore. However, if you look at the Big Picture, i.e.: the Pacific and Atlantic Garbage Patches, the fields of rancid waste in every capitalist country… well, suddenly finding a solution to the WHOLE problem of waste is no longer a loss, but rather a win.
    Sadly, you find more people wanting to be rich, than be heroes.

    1. Bob says

      I welcome your new efforts to fill the hero role

    2. Gary Ralph says

      Don’t be brain dead. Whats wrong with wanting be both Rich and a hero? And if you are so altruistic,… then put your money where your mouth is and start your own recycling company that barely breaks even!!!

  4. Dee says

    Tried to repost this article on FB because I thought the information was informative, but FB said it could not be posted “because some people would find the content offensive.

  5. Elena says

    Recycling is a great idea, if you are only recycling aluminums. Otherwise it is like gift wrapping the garbage and it is time to discontinue the idiocy.

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