Mile-a-day blog, day six: Recycling is Bullshit!

0.70 miles

31:22 pace

Yeah, I know, that pace.  Still training the dogs to walk and it’s apparently going to take a while.

A few walks ago I noticed there were some recyclables on our path, and I picked them up on the way home.  It wasn’t much – two aluminum cans, one bottle, one plastic bottle – but it adds up.  Eventually.  Last year I made roughly $100 on recycling, most of which went to our annual Yosemite trip.  If you broke it down by time spent on recycling I’d have made about $10/hour, or right around minimum wage.  Doesn’t seem like much, but it’s free money – I could just as easily have thrown all the recyclables away.

A while ago I saw the episode of “Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!” where they dismantled recycling.  I don’t disagree with anything they said.  On the surface, recycling is indeed bullshit.  It doesn’t help the environment because of all the costs associated with recycling: the fuel used, the waste produced by the recycling plants, etc.  I get that.  I’m not in it because I’m a tree-hugging liberal.  I’m in it because it gives me something to do on my walks, it helps make my area look a little bit better, and I get a small chunk of cash out of it.  Any of those reasons by themselves would be enough.  I think all three of them together outweigh the bullshit aspect of recycling.  That may be selfish, but it’s my justification and I’m sticking with it, Penn & Teller be damned.


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