Yes, I have. But does recycling actually save the recycler money
? There is a reason why less gold is thrown into the trash than paper.
It looks differently in USA with wast, empty land that can be filled with trash without poisoning people, plus cheap extraction of resources without much care for sustainability or environment, and different in, say, EU or China with much denser populations, lot less free land, and all easy resources already exploited.
The former residents of Love Canal
in Niagara Falls, New York and Times Beach, Missouri
might disagree with your assessment.
The US started cleaning up its act in the late 1960's. Unfortunately, a lot of damage was done but considering we started from a point of flaming rivers
we've actually made significant progress. Certainly, the US east of the Mississippi has a population density comparable to Europe's.
Jacoby is also ignoring that a lot
of recycling occurs preconsumer - businesses practice reduce and re-use because it saves them money. They'll sell their waste when they can - that's why, with interest rising in biodiesel, fast food franchises are selling
their used fry oil instead of paying to have it hauled it away, in some cases needing to lock it up because in some areas it has sufficient value for scavengers to steal.
Third - it isn't just about saving money for the recycler, it can also be saving money for society. It's a hell of a lot easier to incentivize proper disposal than to have to clean up contaminated water tables. The Superfund
has spent over 8 billion USD on clean up and the job is far, far from done.
Plus, his rant how Big Brother can't force you to recycle seems both anti-government and false, yes, proper incentives can force people to change habits and unlike what he says are
beneficent to environment even if they look iffy at first, uninformed glance. He acts like new resource extraction didn't require transport or as new jobs in recycling were bad
The government - at all levels - has a duty to protect the public welfare. That seems forgotten at times, but it's right there in the preamble to US Constitution. No, the government can't FORCE you to recycle, but they can give you incentives to do so. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you're anti-government from the get-go.