Should we be asking ourselves what's the point of recycling ?
The only answer that makes sense to me is that we should recycle to save raw materials and ultimately the energy required for processing those materials.
We might want to factor in trash control but that is intangible and recycling does not reduce trash by the side of the road..
And minimizing the space used for landfill is another intangible. Modern landfill science seems to provide a way to reclaim otherwise unusable land for useful purposes.
If it costs more to recycle used materials than it does to bury the discarded material in a landfill and start with fresh raw materials, then what is the point of recycling ?
Here is a head-scratcher: There are two garbage trucks for my neighborhood.
Every Monday, truck #1 arrives to pick up garbage, then every-other week, a second truck arrives to haul away materials for recycling
How much does that second truck truly cost compared to the savings obtained from the list materials we're told we can recycle ?
Without doing a detailed cost analysis, the life-cycle of an object made of glass comes to mind
Compare the cost of collecting and burying used glass in a landfill and then processing fresh sand into new glass vs collecting and reprocessing used glass -- does it really make sense to recycle old glass ?