In the Scottish Mail.
Not, as far as I know, online.
‘Some recycling is an extraordinarily
good idea – but not when it’s the
latest new state religion,’ says the
economist Tom Worstall, a Fellow of
the Adam Smith Institute and the
author of Chasing Rainbows: Economic
Myths, Environmental Facts.
‘The concept of zero waste is insane.
They are not asking questions, not
analysing costs and in some cases, in
pursuit of their ambition, they are
doing more harm to the environment.
Rather than being a panacea,
recycling may be running us into
problems, because some recycling is a
very bad idea.
‘Take green glass, for example, which
most of our wines comes in. It’s
ground up for hard-core beneath
road surfaces. The Westminster
Government’s own research concedes
that recycling it causes more carbon
emission than dumping it.
‘Another example is food. Waste is
collected and put through a ‘digester’
that produces methane gas. If you
dump it, bacteria does the same job.
Now, I am not certain which system is
better – and that is my point. In our
haste to recycle everything, no one is
‘We might also consider the cost of
our time to satisfy the demands of
councils to separate waste into our
five, six or seven bins. It is estimated
that it takes 45 minutes. If we were
paid only a minimum wage, the sum
would be greater than the annual cost
of waste disposal.
‘We are moving not at the pace of
practicality but religious zeal. All
those bins! Seven or eight journeys to
pick them up! Sending waste by road
over hundreds of miles!’
Mr Worstall adds: ‘I really think it’s time to
step back and distinguish between what is
good and what is not in recycling… for the
truth of the matter is that we are not doing
this at all properly.’
It\’s a bit late for me to correct them about my not being an economist……and it\’s the result of a 30 minute conversation being turned into notes rather than quite direct qoutations….