Recycling Is Ineffective

Per Bylund

In the following viewpoint author Per Bylund argues that recycling is inefficient. He claims that people are forced to sort recyclable materials and then have to go out of their way to make sure the materials are disposed of properly. The cost of wasted time from people having to drive the recyclables to trash collection centers, Bylund contends, are not factored into the costs of recycling. Furthermore, the auto emissions from so many people driving to dispose of their garbage is another environmental cost. Bylund refers to a current problem in Stockholm, Sweden, to illustrate another cost of recycling: Trash piled up at collection centers are attracting rats, thus increasing the risk of disease. Yet another problem is that the government forces people to recycle, and in Bylund's opinion this is inappropriate—the government should not have to force its citizens to do anything that is worth doing. For these reasons, Bylund concludes that recycling programs are ineffective.

Per Bylund is an anarchist and libertarian writer and thinker. He writes regularly for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a research and educational center of liberalism that published this viewpoint.

Per Bylund, "The Recycling Myth," Ludwig von Mises Institute, February 4, 2008. Reproduced by permission.

Imagine a whole population spending time and money cleaning their garbage and driving it around the neighborhood rather than working or investing in a productive market!"

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