It isn’t necessarily more expensive, if the recycling service is well-run. An effecient recycling service can cost anywhere from $50 to over $150 per ton, while trash disposal can cost $70-$200.
I prefer to look at the idea from an energy standpoint since energy costs a lot in the terms of production. It takes significantly less energy to simply throw bulk waste (which is all your garbage) into a landfill whereas when recycling you are using energy to ship the products to the facility, swift, sanitize, then ship again to the manufacture to produce a new product. With this said, it is still less energy to recycle products than to make new products.
It is important to distinguish our definitions of cost in any discussion comparing recycling our waste versus placing it into landfills. The increased cost of a recycling program over traditional trash program in the form of direct fees to the consumer can be misleading as many costs of the traditional trash program are built into the local tax revenue structure. Also, the actual costs of a landfill are not contained within the cost of transporting trash and maintaining the landfill. Landfill costs also include eventual clean-up, which can be prohibitive for local governments. In addition to this are the unseen environmental costs such as methane production from landfills contributing to climate change, or leaking landfills contaminating groundwater sources. The conclusion from most expert sources is that it is actual cheaper overall to recycle than to continue with our traditional trash-to-landfill programs.
While it can be argued that your statement isn’t true, I would like to add that recycling facilities require a lot of manual labor for sorting different materials, which factor into costs. I would never argue against recycling, but there are the trucking and hauling costs of multiple disposal containers (vs. one dumpster’s contents), the operating of lasers and magnets to separate metals from papers and plastics, the shipping of waste to facilities that will then process it for new products, and the separating of waste that is actually NOT recyclable. All that said, I do think the pay-off is worth it and the process proves profitable; I just want to point out that it is involved and perhaps requires more work than traditional disposal in landfills. Also, I want to give kuddos to the people doing that work!
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