With rubbish a major political issue, and threats from councils that residents might be fined if they do not sort their waste correctly, recycling has become a hot political issue. But, why bother to recycle? The benefits are far from indisputable. According to advocates of the new green orthodoxy, recycling is essential if we are to reduce pollution and alleviate global warming, but given its limited impact on CO2 emissions, it often seems as if the imperative to recycle has more to do with conspicuous ‘good citizenship’ than efficient waste management. Perhaps recycling is not only an inconvenient, but an unnecessary part of our daily routines.
Some have hailed the recycling industry of Mumbai as an economic model that we should all take notice of. Many inhabitants of the Indian city spend their time sorting dumped rubbish for recycling. But, how does this resource efficiency match up to our standards of human efficiency? Might a certain amount of wasted material be a price worth paying for the freedom to spend time on other things?
editor, NovoArgumente; author, Die Steinzeit steckt uns in den Knochen: gesundheit als erbe der evolution
former director and associate, Green Alliance; author, A Zero Waste UK
science and technology director, Institute of Ideas
|Julia Hailes MBE|
sustainability consultant; author, The New Green Consumer Guide
freelance writer; blogger, Free Society
|Suzy Dean freelance writer; blogger, Free Society|
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