Nikitas3.com has said many times that virtually all ‘green’ ideas are bad for the environment. One of the issues I have focused on is recycling.
Recycling is a massive ‘green’ hoax. The costs of recycling are astronomical. It is a tedious, energy-intensive and labor-intensive process. It exists for one reason only – to make environmentalists look like they are “solving” a problem, and to give money, political power and jobs to ‘greenies’ through the advocacy, management and execution of recycling programs.
Just think of all of the energy we use to move mountains of old newspaper, cardboard and plastic around for ‘recycling’. Yet still much of it ends up in landfills or other places in the environment. ‘Greenies’ have said that recycling keeps plastic out of the environment but the opposite appears to be true. James Delingpole at Breitbart News tells the story.
Green recycling policy is killing the oceans with plastic pollution, says a shock report by a Finnish public health expert.
The report, written for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by Mikko Paunio, adjunct professor in general epidemiology at the University of Helsinki, is titled Save the Oceans – Stop Recycling Plastic.
The title may sound odd to ordinary people, but the sad fact is that the global “recycling” industry has significantly added to the marine plastic litter problem.
I have put recycling in quotes, because only a small fraction of plastic recovered from consumers is actually recycled: the material collected is dirty and so mixed up that it is impossible to produce the high-quality raw material required by, for example, the food-packaging industry. Most recovered plastic is simply burned or dumped: on land, in rivers, or even directly in the oceans.
Unable to recycle waste in line with the targets imposed on them, rich countries have chosen to dump it — plastic, paper and cardboard — on poor ones, especially China. Lower environmental standards in much of Asia has made it cheaper to manage waste there and low-quality recycled plastic can sometimes be profitably produced from these waste streams, albeit in highly polluted conditions.
In recent years, the stream of waste delivered to China expanded vastly. Annual imports reached 85 million tons, including 8 million of plastic. The quantity was so huge that inspection at ports became impossible, and the unscrupulous found that even mixed or hazardous waste could profitably be sent, disguised as “recycling” to avoid landfill tax or high management costs in rich countries. Unable to handle this tsunami of refuse, the Chinese were forced to either burn or dump vast quantities. An unknown amount found its way to the oceans.
The consequences for the environment and for public health of this “recycling” madness have therefore been horrendous, and have ultimately proved too high for the Chinese, who have now banned waste imports entirely. Recent figures suggest that recycling businesses in the UK have responded by simply shipping waste to Asian countries with even weaker environmental standards. So even more waste will end up in the oceans in the future.
OK, so what should we do with burnable waste like plastic, and also paper and cardboard?
Answer: We should dispose of them in the most efficient way – we should burn them. Paper, cardboard and plastic are excellent fuels.
But doesn’t that produce air pollution?
Yes, but there is little pollution with super-efficient new incinerators. On the other hand, by burning this trash near its source we would prevent vastly higher amounts of air pollution that we now produce in moving around tens of millions of tons of plastic and paper for recycling every year. How much energy is consumed and air pollution created to ship 85 million tons of material to China?
A lot… So consider this solution: We should build incinerators in every city or county in the US. That would mean that we don’t have to consume huge amounts of energy to move tens of millions of tons of paper and plastic every year beyond the city or county borders.
New York City currently ships much of its garbage to South Carolina to be put into landfills. That 800-mile train trip over hundreds of trips per year not only consumes large amounts of fuel and creates a great deal of air pollution from the trains, but the trains stink too and bad odor is a form of pollution to the towns along the way.
Burning has another even bigger advantage: Plastic and paper are great fuels and we can generate electricity by burning them. If you don’t know how this works, look it up under “waste-to-energy”. It is done all over the world, including in Europe. It is done in the Nikitas3.com hometown in New England. It is a very good way to get rid of garbage along with producing something of high value – electricity.
Nikitas3.com has estimated that trash-to-electricity plants in the US could replace the burning of 100 million tons of coal per year. This would be a major cut in the production of pollution to mine, transport and burn all that coal.
Then the ash that is left over from burning the garbage can be buried in small landfills. It is just a fraction of the original amount of material. It is basically harmless to the environment. It has been burned to oblivion.
Yet who vehemently opposes the burning of garbage and the making of electricity?
Answer: The same environmentalists who have been shoving recycling down our throats for 50 years now. They want to control us through recycling. They order us around. They tell us what to do and what to recycle. They waste our time. In some places they even search through your trash to make sure that you are recycling. It is appalling.
Just imagine how many billions of gallons of hot water are wasted every year as homeowners wash out peanut butter jars and deli containers and everything else for recycling. It consumes a lot of energy to heat hot water. This energy would be saved if recycling is outlawed.
Virtually every city and town in the US has admitted that recycling is very expensive. Many cities have abandoned it. But they often cannot build the trash-to-electricity plants because ‘greenies’ don’t want them since these plants would make recycling look like the waste of time that it is. So the garbage ends up traveling all over country and the world, and/or in landfills or elsewhere in the environment like in the oceans.
James Delingpole reports on Breitbart:
Paunio agrees that plastic pollution is a serious problem. He cites a 2015 Nature report, which claimed that 8 million tons of plastic per year end up dumped in the ocean. … Most of this pollution derives from rivers in Asia and Africa. But this does not let the West off the hook. On the contrary, Paunio says, the ocean plastic pollution problem is largely the creation of Western environmentalist ideologues.
In this paper I will argue that ideologically motivated environmentalists in the 1980s and their dreams of recycling and a ‘circular economy’ are the ultimate cause of the marine waste problem, because they have discouraged development of municipal waste schemes in Asia and Africa, and because they have encouraged developed nations to use management schemes that make it hard or expensive to deal with waste and therefore tend to ‘leak’ to the environment, sometimes catastrophically so.
The sensible and effective solution to plastic waste, says Paunio, is to incinerate it. This reduces its bulk by 80 per cent and means it can safely be disposed of in landfill.
But environmentalists are opposed to landfill and believe recycling is good (even though where plastic is concerned it is deeply ineffective, expensive and largely pointless). Unfortunately, their ideology has become public policy.
The problem can be traced back to the inventor of “Sustainability”, Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The neglect of municipal waste management in the developing world can be traced back to the Brundtland Commission in the 1980s, with which the current ‘sustainable development’ agenda had its beginnings. The commission’s chairman, Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Prime Minister of Norway, was transfixed by new and exciting environmental issues such as climate change and water and energy conservation – in particular, her secretariat was in close contact with Bert Bolin of the embryonic Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As a result, she personally prevented urban sanitary programs being included in the commission’s remit.