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Can There Ever Be Too Much Recycling?

 

 Could recycling really hurt more than it helps the environment? There are some critics who believe that recycling in excess can be detrimental to society.  One of those people is Daniel Benjamin an economist who wrote an article titled “Eight Great Myths of Recycling.” In this article he describes the 8 myths that lead people to believe recycling is the ultimate answer to environmental well being such as:

  • Our Garbage Will Bury Us
  • Our Garbage Will Poison Us
  • Recycling Always Protects the Environment

However, there are negative factors of recycling that do support Benjamin’s claim that the listed above are not infallible such as:

  • Abandoned dump sites for recycling, when left unmanaged, damage the surrounding environment
  • Harmful chemicals in the trash can mix water into soil causing water and soil pollution
  • Paper recycling can be costly because it takes different industrial processing such as bleaching to make it usable.

Though he does point out the negative and contradictory aspects of recycling he states that informed and voluntary recycling conserves resources and helps our wealth, while mandatory recycling only leads people to do what they know is not sensible and hurt society rather than help it. In respects to Benjamin’s opinion I also believe that we should not blindly recycle or do any other measure to conserve the environment without looking at its causes and effects.

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