Recycling, an Economic Argument

If you haven’t read it, you’ve probably at least heard about John Tierney’s recent “The Reign of Recycling” article in the New York Times. His controversial piece, which largely depicts recycling as a wasted and uneconomical environmental effort, is not the first attack on the industry – and sadly isn’t likely to be the last. As a business owner whose mission is to help businesses recycle more and landfill less, articles like these make me cringe. They ignore the economic benefits of the industry and breed distrust. So when I read Fast Company’s article, “Once Robots Are Sorting The Recycling, The Economics All Change,” explaining the economic game changer that is automated recycling, I thought it was worth sharing.

The recycling industry has come a long ways over the years. Technological advances, like automated sort systems, help improve the process daily, and continue to make recycling a more economically viable form of waste management. It’s also important to recognize that reusable materials have value, both from a market price as well as the energy and resources saved by recycling rather than harvesting virgin materials. Therefore, it’s important to recognize advancements that improve the recycling process and make it more efficient and economically lucrative.

To check out Fast Company’s article for yourself, click here.

– Noah Goodman (President, Northstar Recycling)