30 May 2014
Recycling and why it's a loser's choice
It's the rage, it's the new old thing, it's mandatory in lots of places, and it's a crock of shit.
In the complex where I live, there is one recycling bin for 16 apartments. Recycling pickup is once a month.
Within 36 hours of the bin being emptied, it is once again full. Of delivery pizza boxes. Amd diapers.
Lookit, kiddos, some things, it just makes sense to recycle. Aluminum from bauxite is incredibly energy intensive. Makes sense to just melt it down and make new tinnies to refill with Schlanweiser Lite now with lime! Pitch the old ones into the furnace and hey presto new cans. Steel? Ditto. Glass? Slag it and blow it.
Paper? Mulch in H2SO4, rinse, bleach, re-pulp...
There's no real use in recycling paper. It's more efficient just to use it as fuel – burn it and capture the only hazardous byproduct, fly ash. Use it to run boilers to generate electricity. While you're at it, all those flare stacks at the refineries? Can you say “co-generation”? They're lighting the night sky to the point that I could read the goddam newspaper 5 miles away. (When I lived with the woman who grew up to be my ex-wife. Who is a wonderful person and a great mother to my sons.)
Last stats I saw, the City of Houston was “investing” about a dollar a pound on the sorting of recycled trash and realizing about $50 a ton. Lemme find my calculator. Oh, we have a loss of about $0.975 per pound. (I lied, I did the math in my head. You can do that too, right?)
Back in the day, my buddies and I had a system. Go to the range and shoot up all sorts of stuff, Collect brass for reloading. Go to (designated Dave's place) and clean guns and drink beer (non-trivial note: Shoot first, drink later. Remember Cooper's 4 at all times. Ammo not allowed in drinking area). Place all empty beer cans in the designated pothole, where they were crushed by the simple expedient of having Animal's truck go back and forth over them. Scoop them up, recycle, and buy lead to cast more bullets. 'Cause aluminum bullets suck.
There used to be things called “incinerators”. Big open trash fireplaces. You can't tell me that with the advances made in the past 40-some years that we can't make a quantum improvement on that.