In the following viewpoint, author Lucas McMillan argues that recycling wastes more resources than it conserves. He explains that an enormous amount of energy is wasted transporting recyclables to and from collection centers, a process which also causes pollution. These outputs negate and even surpass the resources saved by recycling, he says. Making recycling even less necessary is the fact that there is enough space in U.S. landfills to dispose of trash, and McMillan argues that landfills are environmentally sound. For example, McMillan claims that curbside recycling programs cost more than traditional trash disposal does, use twice the number of trucks, and thus require more gas and produce more pollution. For all of these reasons, McMillan concludes that traditional trash collection and disposal is better than recycling.
This viewpoint was published by Times-Delphic, a student-run online news source at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.
Lucas McMillan, "Recycling's Myth: The 'Three R's' Are Doing More Harm than Good," Times-Delphic (Drake University), November 19, 2007. Reproduced by permission.
"More trucks and more resources are required to handle the massive bulk of recycling, and all of that transportation ultimately does more harm than good."
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