Wednesday, March 19, 2008

While Lisa and I try hard to recycle any materials that the city will take, I've been thinking of this question lately. "How good is recycling?"

Don't get me wrong, I know it's good to recycle goods like plastics that will not biodegrade, but how about paper and wood?

My point is that by recycling stuff like paper and wood I know that we are "limiting" to some extent the amount of trees that we'll need to use to keep making more wood based products, but what about the effects of removing crucial organics needed in the landfills.

My thought is that by recycling too much of the organics that it may create a "super dump" of sorts. On that is twice(Okay, some % higher) as toxic as normal simply because of what is being buried is now more concentrated. If I am not seeming to make sense, I mean to be saying that if we have a normal amount of garbage that contains 10lbs of organics and 10lbs of plastics and recycle a higher majority of the organics, it will create a more concentration of polution.

Another confusion is which to buy, paper wrapped or recyclable paper wrapped goods. While I want to lesson the promotion of oil based products; air quality keeps becoming a larger concern so wanting to reduce the amount of paper wrapped products is important too. It's sometimes hard to know the lesser of the two evils.

We do try to buy products that are wrapped the least. Nothing bothers me more than having to go through 3 layers just to gain access to what I just purchased.

I'm also super bummed about Richmond's non recycling of #5 plastics. It seems that I would be recycling a good 100% more plastics if Ric. just went that route. And virtually nothing comes in glass these days, which maybe needs to change in the future. But then again, glass weighs much more than plastics and is more likely to break, so you'll have to pay higher costs for breakage loss and shipping weights through higher fuel consumption and bills.