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Old 07-18-2006, 06:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: in a golden garden of grey
How many of you recycle?

Im just curious. In many areas, recycling is mandatory, but most others, it is choice. Considering the environmental impact of not recycling versus recycling, I was wondering how many of you take that extra effort.

Come on people, make me proud!
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I try to make the extra effort whenever I can.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I recycled where I used to live because there were easily accessible recycle bins. At my current location, it's more of a hassle, so I haven't been doing it. Now I feel guilty though, so I'm going to look into it.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't and I feel really bad that I don't. Back when I was station in Washington State, they siphoned through your garbage for you at the dump. I think that is a better idea than asking people to do it on their own. Not because its more convenient for us, but its a way to make sure it gets done.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We recycle. However, unless you recycle by the "rules" it doesn't do much good. You have to rinse everything out, don't include lids, don't include materials that isn't approved by your recycling company, etc. Recycling dirty or non-approved materials just wrecks the process and costs more money and resources.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In my community, they pick up every 2 weeks, but are changing to every week in August because the demand is so high. I currently do, but in the past did not. Being lazy was my only excuse why I didn't. When we moved to where we are now, I made a full force effort to do. Every two week, I have 3 - 4 containers full of glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, etc. When I've cleaned the garage (which is full of my parents stuff), I end up with 8 containers. Thank god they take them all.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample
Back when I was station in Washington State, they siphoned through your garbage for you at the dump. I think that is a better idea than asking people to do it on their own. Not because its more convenient for us, but its a way to make sure it gets done.
This is the only real viable recycling method that would have any impact.

The current method in most areas reminds me of the scrap metal drives in WWII. They didn't really do much for the war but they were promoted since it made people feel involved in helping the war effort. I think recycling is being run in the same manner. Its more about feeling and caring and teaching your kids than anything about making a real difference. Being someone who wants to see substance over symbolism I am not in favor of such methods. I also think there is something odd in that in my area (and I'll assume most others) you don't get paid for your recyclables, but they want you to do all the sorting and even cleaning. If you saved up your cans, you could take them in yourself and get money back for them, and even then its enough that the recycling plant makes a profit.

Really recycling as done in most neighborhoods strikes me as a wonderful scam. First they make you feel guilty, often they make it mandatory, then they force you to seperate, clean, and after you do this for them, they make the money off you and you get nothing but that feeling that you 'did something'. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode on recycling.

So while I applaud the motivation, I have to wonder how much of this is about saving the environment and how much is about profit.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yup, we recycle. You have a limit on how many garbage bags you can put out (without paying extra) so it makes sense to shove whatever you can in the old blue bin. Paper, glass, plastic, aluminum all goes in.

Why people whine about it I have no idea. I either take a blue bin to the curb or I take another bag to the curb, it's no more effort.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highthief
Why people whine about it I have no idea. I either take a blue bin to the curb or I take another bag to the curb, it's no more effort.
Depends on the area, some have you wash things like cans and jars prior, and you have to seperate in layers.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've been recycling my garbage for about 15 years. One thing I noticed is that there are some types of plastic that the recycling company won't take, and this hasn't changed in those 15 years. I always believed that the number of material types that would be accepted by the recycling company would increase over time, but it hasn't happened.

Quote:
Really recycling as done in most neighborhoods strikes me as a wonderful scam. First they make you feel guilty, often they make it mandatory, then they force you to seperate, clean, and after you do this for them, they make the money off you and you get nothing but that feeling that you 'did something'. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode on recycling.

So while I applaud the motivation, I have to wonder how much of this is about saving the environment and how much is about profit.
We have to pay a fee for curbside pickup of garbage, so I do feel like I "did something"...I save myself some $$$, and I do feel good about helping to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, but as I state in my observation above, the recycling program could be much better. It's probably not profitable for some types of materials to be recycled, and that is the main motivation of recycling companies.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes, we recycle, but here they make it easy: only glass has to be separated. Also, we live in a state with a Bottle Bill, so every aluminum can we return is worth 5 cents. The only problem with that, though, is you can't store your cans just anywhere: the bums will come along and take your cans to cash in if they are in a place where they can get at them. I'm not joking.

The truth is, recycling in our household means the difference between the large can and the small can, and so it saves us money every month, while turning cans in earns us our bottle deposits back.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I recycle paper and aluminum, in the small town where I live those are the only options available.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
So while I applaud the motivation, I have to wonder how much of this is about saving the environment and how much is about profit.
Then let me enlighten you. If it was really so profitable to recycle, then it would be more widespread. As much as bleeding heart liberals like me would like to see every last thing recycled, there is just not enough of a market for certain materials, hence the reason why only some plastics are accepted. If there was really so much profit in it then there would be several companies vying for your recyclables.

It's a step in the right direction.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I recycle whenever I can- nwlinkvxd and I save bottles/cans/cardboard to be recycled. I've tried to set up a better recycling programme at my Starbucks store too, but the idea never stuck with the higher-ups.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Absolutely. A girlfriend guilted me into it many years ago and the habit stuck. If I'm pinched for time sometimes I'll discard things instead but it haunts me at night. My curbside averages about 50/50 garbage/recycle.

It does bother me they charge to recycle the items that are clearly profitable.

Yard debris pickup: ground up and sold as mulch for $5/yd.
Steel and other metals: Turned around for $hundreds/ton.
etc.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Yep, I do it as much as possible: junk mail/newspaper, glass, plastic bottles, and cardboard if they take it.

I remember going on a recycling kick when I was about 10 years old (17 years ago!) and my parents freaked out. I set up all these bags in the kitchen and they got in the way of everything... my parents went back to not recycling anything after about two days of that.

Once I finally moved out and got my own place, I've recycled as much as possible. As Cyrnel said, I feel awful if a glass bottle or plastic bottle ends up in the regular garbage... I imagine it sitting there, not rotting, not decomposing, for eons... and that's my only token to the earth? So I recycle.

Then again, you must wonder... archaeology would be rather pointless if everyone recycled in the past. Then again, their levels of consumption were so much less than ours, it's doesn't even matter.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I recycle most of the things that I'm supposed to, but some containers are too much bother to clean out; for instance, the plastic peanut butter jar. I'd be wasting too much water and time on getting it clean.

However, garbage in my area goes to a resource recovery facility (a.k.a. trash burning plant), not a landfill. There's a lot of heat value in plastic, so at least it is making good power for me.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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on a good day stuff makes it into the trash can...after that -i could honestly care less where it goes...

When i lived in nyc... we had recycling in our building - i think we had 20 different bins for different colored glass, and different grades of plastic.. when the sanitation trucks came around. .it all went onto the same truck to the same landfill... it was a pointless waste of time
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Where does it go on a bad day?

Do you have a pile of trash near the ottoman? Cause I found it better to pile it near the entertainment center, less foot trafic.
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I recycle, within reason.

I too, don't take the time to clean out a plastic peanut butter jar, but as long as it isn't too much of a hassle I'll rinse out whatever needs rinsing and toss it in the recycling bin.

Recycling in this area has become much, much easier over the years. We used to have to seperate clear glass from colored, aluminum cans from steel cans, different types of plastic, etc.

However, now, we can just throw anything recyclable into the bin and they sort it elsewhere.

It is mandatory in Green Bay, though.
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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our building has to recycle, they have a formula for how much total volume of refuse, less a percentage of recycleables. If the percentage isn't met it means the building tenants aren't recycling enough and the building gets fined.

stupid if you ask me because I don't necessarily have bottles to recycle every month, and I never buy newspapers.
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I recycle everything I can.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I recycle a fair amount- plastics, paper (but not all), alumninum, cardboard, metals, and electronic equipment
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: melbourne australia
i recycle and like to wash out most cans bottles etc but at the moment where i live is in drought conditions and we are being asked not to use to much water, so now i have to decide if i wash the rubbish or myself or do i just make more landfill. Boy, decisions decisions!!
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:17 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Our apartment complex doesn't have anywhere to collect recycleables, which makes me very sad. We used to take them to my Mom's to recycle, but it's just too much of a mess/hassle. I really wish we had somewhere nearby to recycle:-(
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:00 PM   #27 (permalink)
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When I was younger my brother and I used to collect aluminum cans and recycle those (It was good money for someone when they're 10 years old), but I'll admit that I haven't actively recycled since then.

I know. I'm a horrible person.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:02 PM   #28 (permalink)
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This may be just a California thing but Recycling has been part of curbside trash pickup everywhere I've lived for at least the last 12 years or so. It is the norm here. Right now, I have one large 60 gallon barrel for regular trash and another for recyclables (newspapers, bottles, cardboard, etc.), both which are issued by the trash company.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:20 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I recycle. It's easy. The real question is: Do you compost?

Now there's the next step.
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:43 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I recycle, its actually amazing how much stuff builds up over a couple of weeks in our house, the car is completly full with stuff.
And until only a few years back we threw it all away, which is the amazing part. Do your bit people!

I compost all the stuff that comes out the garden (which with the current war being waged against the hedges is quite alot) but i don't compost household waste.

We do have kerbside pickup for recycling, but i always forget what day it is, and they only take plastic and paper (understandably).
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:50 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Quote:
Originally Posted by abaya
Then again, you must wonder... archaeology would be rather pointless if everyone recycled in the past. Then again, their levels of consumption were so much less than ours, it's doesn't even matter.
The recycling schemes of olden times makes us look like rank amateurs. Most of the things preserved from the past either belonged to the very wealthy or were accidently lost somehow (like arrowheads or sunken ship cargos). Most people were just too poor to throw anything useful away.

Back to the topic: We recycle pretty much everything possible, and our family does compost both garden waste and food leftovers. (The food compost is a bitch to maintain, especially in the winter.) But I do have a hard time seeing the energy save in us washing all the milk cartons.
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:58 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
our building has to recycle, they have a formula for how much total volume of refuse, less a percentage of recycleables. If the percentage isn't met it means the building tenants aren't recycling enough and the building gets fined.

stupid if you ask me because I don't necessarily have bottles to recycle every month, and I never buy newspapers.
Don't tell them, but I am bad about recylcing in our building.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:01 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Location: Canton, Ohio
Pan and I recycle everything we can... this has made our weekly "trash" reduce itself to miniscule amounts. We could go nearly a month before we managed to have an entire garbage bag full.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:43 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xazy
Don't tell them, but I am bad about recylcing in our building.
sshhh... so am I. it'll be our little secret.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:52 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Regardless of the environment and all the benefits there. We don't have the space to continue burying our trash.

Currently Toronto ships hundreds of truck loads of garbage to Michigan to be buried. Our Wet waste and recycling programs divert tonnes of garbage from the landfills.

__________________________________________
Recycling is easy in Toronto.

We have one bin for all recycleables (glass, paper, plastic, cans). They get sorted at the sorting facility.

We have one bin for "wet"* garbarge. This gets turning into compost.

We have one bin for everything else. I now put out one bag of trash every other week (we are a family of four).


* Wet garbage includes:

* Fruits, vegetable scraps
* Meat, shellfish, fish products
* Pasta, bread, cereal
* Dairy products, egg shells
* Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
* Soiled paper towels, tissues
* Soiled paper food packaging: fast food paper packaging, ice cream boxes, muffin paper, flour and sugar bags
* Paper coffee cups, paper plates
* Candies, cookies, cake
* Baking ingredients, herbs, spices
* Household plants, including soil
* Diapers, sanitary products
* Animal waste, bedding (e.g. from bird/hamster cages), kitty litter
* Pet food
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:56 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I recycle, because the city made it in my best interest to do so.

First, they made the standard garbage cans smaller. Then they gave us two _huge_ wheeled recycling bins, each one easily three times the size of the standard can: one is for paper, plastic, metal, and such, and you don't have to sort any of it. The city bought machines that can do most of the sorting.

The other one is for greenwaste, which includes all yard waste, fruit and vegetable waste, and even brown paper bags: anything that can be composted. The city runs its own giant compost heap.

They've done most of the heavy work for me; they'd like you to rinse stuff out, but it's not anything they dwell upon; I'll soak the occasional peanut butter jar, but that's it.

As a result of all this, I probably take my normal garbage can out to the curb every two weeks, and even then it's not really full. It's amazing how much of your trash can be recycled -- and will be recycled, if it's made easy.

The impetus for all this is a California law that made it mandatory that municipalities divert half their trash flow into recyclables. Actually, that was the first thing; the second thing was that our county, and many others, doesn't want to have to buy new landfill space in the near future. It's expensive, and it's almost impossible politically to start a new landfill. The neighbors always rise up in arms.
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:00 AM   #37 (permalink)
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It's funny, I used to recycle bottles by habit for about 15 years. Then I moved to a state that doesn't have deposit.

I try to reuse things like plastic bags and paper, but other than that I throw away far too much every week. Perhaps at some point I'll guilt myself into paying for recycling bins in my trash pickup. Assuming they actually recycle the stuff people put in those bins.
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:12 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Yup, I do. I've been really avid about it since I was 12 or 13, when I became more concerned about the environment and consumption. Over time, though, I've realized the system has its flaws (as ustwo pointed some out) but it's worth it.

There's a paper recycling company that gives you a cut of the money that they get for the paper you give them. They give you dumpsters to put it in and pick the paper up.(though, you have to have a ton or more to get any money) (they take a cut of the money, of course for the business). But hey, my high school prom ticket was a couple bucks cheaper from the money they got back from the paper.


Quote:
Originally Posted by genuinegirly
I recycle. It's easy. The real question is: Do you compost?

Now there's the next step.

Hehe, Yes, I do. It's in the backyard and been going for a few years now. It's not in any sort of nice bin or anything, just a pile that sits there. Occasionally, I'll turn it every couple weeks or so if I'm home from college.
Most of it is just grass clippings (which, iirc, slows down the compost process, because of too much nitrogen) and dead pine needles (the pile is right next to our pine tree), occasionally I'll put coffee grounds and vegetable scraps in there.
I was pretty excited a couple weeks ago when I was turning it, I found worms in there.

I heard on the garden show on npr this weekend about someone who takes his fruit and veggie scraps, adds a bit of water, and takes some existing compost into an old blender, adds water, and it creates a slurry that really speeds up the composting process.

Catcha back on the flipside,
will.
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:39 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I've been throwing all my old veg peelings and off-cuts into the compost bin. Problem is I haven't been using the right ratio of 'greens' and 'browns', so the thing smells like death. Seriously it is vomit-inducing. Having had some advice from my pa I now make sure I add 50/50 greens and browns, I also add things like toilet roll and scrunched up newspaper to make air pockets - its looking much healthier, more worms, less putrid stench.

Greens = old veg, tea bags, egg shells, etc. all high in nitrogen.
Browns = newspapers, cardboard (cut up), old clothes (cut up).
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:31 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
So while I applaud the motivation, I have to wonder how much of this is about saving the environment and how much is about profit.
Very little of it is about profit. It depends on the material and what the market requires but there have been many years where the BlueBox system has lost money.

Business subsidizes it here. The bottlers do not have to run a deposit bottle system. In return they help finance the BlueBox.


Additionally, if we left it up to everyone to take their recycleables to the depot to get paid, very few would. Would you?
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