Tag: Recycling

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Today is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, a major national event prompted by the late Gaylord Nelson, a Democratic US Senator from Wisconsin. Some say it is inspired by this oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. About 22 million people – at the time, about 10 percent of the total US population – […]

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John Tierney joins Brian Anderson to discuss the campaign to ban the use of plastic products and the flawed logic behind the recycling movement—the subjects of Tierney’s story, “The Perverse Panic over Plastic,” from the Winter 2020 Issue of City Journal.

Hundreds of cities and eight states have outlawed or regulated single-use plastic bags. But according to Tierney, the plastic panic doesn’t make sense. Plastic bags are the best environmental choice at the supermarket, not the worst, and cities that built expensive recycling programs—in the hopes of turning a profit on recycled products—have instead paid extra to get rid of their plastic waste, mostly by shipping it to Asian countries with low labor costs. However, the bans will likely continue as political leaders and private companies seek a renewed sense of moral superiority.

Please Recycle


Every so often, I get a mailer from the American Association of Retired Progressives shilling membership in their organization.  I would think that after a decade or so of no response, they’d get the idea that I don’t want to join their damn club.  But they keep sending me this garbage and I throw it out with all the other junk mail.

I got another one yesterday and noticed that “Please Recycle” was printed on the back of the envelope.  As per my usual practice, I opened it and tore the contents to shreds before trashing them.  On every piece of paper was the same request:  “Please Recycle.”

Hey everybody! Let’s save the planet!


I’m a compulsive recycler.

When I was a Boy Scout, I always collected the most newspapers in the annual fundraising drive. My mom helped establish the first recycling center in my hometown. I spent many of my weekends in high school sorting used paper, glass and metal. When driving, she would pull over and have one of us pick up any aluminum cans or returnable bottles she saw lying beside the road. I always carried a sack with me to carry any recyclable material I found.

Our Bigoted Bicycles


I read the Times for the same reason I stare down from the top of tall buildings: Terrified fascination at what might come next. Here is a case in point:

But two years in, Citi Bike’s inroads have been decidedly uneven, with men far outnumbering women in using the bike-sharing system. A little time on Eighth Avenue on a recent morning, watching the stream of Citi Bike riders heading north past Pennsylvania Station and toward Times Square, was instructive. Man after man pedaled by, some in suits, others in jeans. From time to time, a woman on a Citi Bike rode by.

For the bike service, that is a problem.

The Sacrament of Recycling


Office Christmas parties have few redeeming qualities. I maintain that the world would be a better place if the practice were done away with completely. I do, however, have a rule about never turning down free food.  While standing amongst co-workers this past Christmas, plotting how I could subtly steal the entire tray of cannolis, some of our colleagues from Britain inquired as to where the recycling was.

One co-worker pointed to the holiest of holies, while beaming with unjustifiable pride.  Mildly surprised to find that we Yankees observed the same religious rites, our British colleagues began inquiring as to the depth of our devotion. Anyone can recycle bottles, cans and stacks of printer paper, but did we recycle cardboard? The American congregation was unsure.

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Our betters in the California state legislature have passed a ban on plastic grocery sacks. Signed into law by Governor Brown redux, the law begins to take effect next July.In a state where budget realities force Democrats to choose between boondoggles, this should come as no surprise. As a Californian and grocery shopper, the ban will […]

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Are We Really a Throwaway Culture?


yardI hear often that ours is a throwaway culture. If we’re done with an item, we toss it in the garbage. Although our household produces several full garbage bags each week for the dump, I can think of a number of ways our communities “re-use, re-purpose, and re-cycle” useful items that pre-date that popular phrase by decades.

  1. Garage Sales — Get rid of old stuff by selling it on your driveway. People will flock to your house and haul it off happy, and you’ll end up with some extra cash. Win-win.

  2. Thrift Stores — Many of us routinely donate outdated stuff we don’t know what to do with to thrift stores. The organizations use it as merchandise for their establishment to fund their charitable work; the public gets a discount store offering a huge, eclectic collection where there’s something for everyone. Again, we all get a good deal out of it.