Letters to the Editor

Sometimes, recycling doesn't make sense

I have read a few letters to the editor on recycling in Stanislaus County and specifically Modesto. I thought a few points might be made about the efforts people are making either through the "blue bag" system or alternative curbside collection services provided by their haulers. While residential recycling is a valiant way to manage discards, please remember the services offered at your curb are implemented not for individual efforts but for the community at large. Deciding to purchase vehicles, containers and providing the labor needed to make recycling available at the curb (especially in rural areas) requires a systematic approach. To approach residential recycling on an individual basis might be cost prohibitive and in the end not as beneficial as the intention due to air emissions, fuel consumption and processing contamination. In California, it is still cheaper to throw away your garbage than to recycle it. (Landfill fees are $30 per ton to dispose; recycling costs $60 per ton net.)

We recycle because it is the right thing to do. Keep doing it and the economics will eventually follow.