Mungowitz at his best, and on one of his best topics: the complete and vast waste of resources that is recycling.

Two important points that he makes:

1) recycling is done predominantly by the rich (countries) – exactly those that have money to waste. If recycling saved money/resources, it would be done predominantly by the poor and it is not. (Or rather, recycling is done by the poor (and a lot of other people) but it is not called recycling and it is not a cult-like endeavor (see #2 below). It is called reusing and it is done when it makes economic sense to do so. Don Boudreaux has many excellent posts on this. See for example this one.)

2) that recycling is costly emphasizes that recycling is mostly a sacrifice to the cult of Gaia. Sacrifice must be costly else it is not sacrifice. And if it is not sacrifice then Gaia will…uh, what…get angry? At what? The fact that we’re not wasting enough resources in the making of sacrifices apparently.

-JD Cross