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  • Last modified 93 days ago (June 18, 2020)

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It’s time
to dump recycling

If you’ve ever felt as if tax dollars you pay are simply being thrown away, you’re quite literally right.

The near-religious fervor with which small but extremely vocal minorities have insisted on recycling is costing Marion, Hillsboro, and Marion County taxpayers thousands of dollars every month.

And that money, like so many of the items people set out for recycling, is going straight to landfills.

In an era in which cries of “fake news” dominate the political landscape, the misrepresentation of recycling, whether intentional or innocent, is perhaps the biggest whopper floating through our lives and nibbling away at our already well-chewed pocketbooks.

We’ve all been indoctrinated as effectively as Muslim extremists in desert madrasas that failing to recycle will poison our air and water, kill every last seal on our polar icecaps, flood coastal cities already drowning in COVID-19, and summon up superstorms outdoing those of summer disaster movies.

Truth is, none of these things are caused by lack of recycling. They’re actually caused by excessive burning of fuel to do such things as needlessly haul items all over the countryside in search of places that will recycle them — and charge triple the cost of simply burning them.

The simple truth is: Recycling causes more damage to the environment than would hauling most of our garbage to safe, well-regulated landfills. You don’t get a warm feeling that you’re doing your part for the planet, but you also don’t get your pocket picked by eco-extremists preying on your indoctrinated guilt.

Plastics are a prime example. Recycling centers refuse to accept them. There’s no market for them. But Hillsboro residents and, to a lesser extent, Marion residents still set them out with their recycling, still pay featherbedded crews (in Marion’s case) to pick them up, and now are being asked (and Marion already has agreed) to reimburse the county for accepting them.

Part of the hefty price the county has to pay for recycling includes the cost of someone having to separate out all the plastic and bury it. But instead of simply suspending recycling of plastic until it is economically feasible, we continue to go through the charade of picking it up and hauling all over everywhere, then paying dearly to have it not be recycled.

It’s just stupid. And the fact that Curley, Larry, Moe, Schemp, and Curley Joe on the county commission have finally had enough of it makes us wonder whether we ought to shift which elected body we routinely refer to as stooges.

Agreeing to pay the county twice what it costs to bury trash merely so we can feel good, even though we actually accomplish less than nothing, is an unconscionable waste of taxpayer money and unbelievable surrender of rational thought to the pressures of overly indoctrinated tree huggers.

A few years back, when recycling actually paid, Marion city officials went to the county and asked the county to use some of the windfall caused by recycling to help support the county food bank.

Now that the food bank appears to be on solid footing, with tons of free groceries available to anyone regardless of income, will the city ask that the food bank start subsiding recycling? We certainly hope not, but where one stupid idea exists, others seem likely to follow.

Our communities can do good things for the environment with such projects as wind farms. They also can damage the environment with ill-conceived attempts to recycle when recycling makes no sense. And they can waste countless hours and dollars, better spent on streets and roads, pondering questions about such projects when the answers are abundantly clear.

The alternative, in both cases, is to simply stand up to the pressures of strident extremists and do what’s clearly right.

Individually, each of us can help.

For one, we need to stop putting anything into a recycling container except aluminum cans and cardboard. Anything else just inflates the cost of recycling and increases the amount of fossil fuel that must be burned in the process.

For another, we can let our elected officials know that we don’t pray at the same altar as do eco-extremists and aren’t going to squeal like clubbed seals if government adopts a more rational approach to waste management.

Then again, if you really like paying higher taxes while getting fewer services you actually want and need, keep doing what you’re doing and let the eco-extremists hug our wallets not just our trees.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified June 18, 2020

 

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