Anonymous
Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

Is recycling cost-effective?

As in - which costs more - creating products from recycling, or making them afresh (eg glass from sand, mined metals, paper from timber)?

I can imagine that recycling metals is cheaper than mining, but i find it hard to believe that it's cheaper to recycle glass and paper than it is to dig up some sand or cut down a few trees.

We have to recycle anyway, to avoid drowning in our own filth as the landfill sites fill up. But is this the only reason, or is there are more short-term economic reason as well?

Update:

Sorry that last bit wasn't very grammatical & I can't edit it!

16 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you take into account the cost of disposing off waste and the environmental damage cause by making new.

    Recycling is very cost effective.

    If you compare just the cost of making new vs recycling ignoring the hidden cost that the manufacturers do not have to pay.

    then prob. not. But this should change to reflect the real costs in time.

    Of course reducing the amount consumed would be far more effective ( less packaging and goods made to last longer and consuming less as we all have stuff we dont need or use).

    I personally think we are doing too little to late. 25 -30 years ago we should of been at this early stage.

    Most things we consume use oil, eg ink on packaging, glass, clothes, plastic. around 90% of everything we buy has / or has had oil used to make it. When we run out of crude oil we will have to use alternatives e.g palm oil / rape seed oil Etc.. Needing huge areas of agricultural land. This will and has already started to increase the cost of food crops. This is another hidden cost for not recycling.

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  • foye
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Is Recycling Cost Effective

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is cost-effective but people waste so much stuff now and say "oh i'll just put it in the recycling it doesnt matter", they use reclyling as an excuse for wasting stuff, but recycling (as in when you put it in the recycling box outside) uses up alot of energy. Home recycling is better, like when you use bottle over and over again instead of buying new ones, and not using paper when you really dont need it, and using cardboard boxes again. Home recycling is more cost effective.

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Here's Moe's answer: If you are one of the leading companies in the United States that sends out bulk mail, and repetitively sends out bulk mail, the envelopes will sometimes say Made From Recycled Paper, and most people say that is a positive. The electricity that is used to recycle paper is a cost in dollars, and it takes coal to make electricity, which is a finite resource and must be continually mined. If you're talking hydroelectric power, that means damming up rivers to the point that eventually the river becomes a creek. The telephone company that bugs me to sign up for their service will buy the cheaper envelope, even if it is .5 cents cheaper per envelope. Where the wood came from is not a point of interest to a Wall Street or NASDAQ company. Then again, they might buy the recycled envelopes that have that recycled logo to impress people. The down side to any industry is that accountants don't go to the same restaurants as people who drive earth movers or have degrees in forestry. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That is a matter of prices. If you set the price on human work high, you will find most recycling not cost effective.

    Some of the recycling is done by some use of energy and other recourses, in a way that is not smart. Some of it is creating pollution and a loss of energy.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Is recycling cost-effective?

    As in - which costs more - creating products from recycling, or making them afresh (eg glass from sand, mined metals, paper from timber)?

    I can imagine that recycling metals is cheaper than mining, but i find it hard to believe that it's cheaper to recycle glass and paper than it is to dig...

    Source(s): recycling cost effective: https://biturl.im/7RL6E
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  • 1 decade ago

    it must be cost effective. there are places in this country that take all the garbage from landfills and recycle it. paper plastic metals glass etc.....i doubt they'd go through all that if they weren't making more than they were spending. and i'd rather have recycling then cutting down trees. trees we need to offset the co2 in the air so i say recycle and plant more trees.

    note: it seems that all new energy tech is more cost effective. solar panels reduce the price of electricity. hybrids give you an insane amt of mpg, thereby saving you money. etc etc etc....

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it's cost effective to recycle metals and some plastic but glass and most plastic is more expensive. the problem with recycled stuff is the inferior quality you end up with versus virgin material. molecular structure is changed during recycling.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yes recycling is cost effective

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  • 1 decade ago

    Think it depends on what exactly you are taliking about. Remember a lot of the reason for having plastic bottles in the first place was that it was cheaper & faster than using glass ones.

    And don't worry about landfill sites filling up and there being no more room. As soon as the current space is filled THEY WILL JUST ALLOCATE MORE LAND TO THIS USEAGE.

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