For Most Things, Recycling Harms the Environment

"I gave the talk, and… Nothing. Some polite applause, a few desultory questions. And then people just drifted off. I tried to strike up a conversation with some people who were still in the hall, and I asked them why there was no controversy.

One fellow was perfectly forthcoming: “Oh, we all know it makes no sense to recycle glass. The economic case is easy. But people should still recycle, because it’s simply the right thing to do. It’s not about the actual environment. It’s about enlisting people to care about the symbol of the environment. Overall, recycling is still worth doing, regardless of its effects.”"