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Residents recycle, Baltimore throws it out

The fantasy world of environmentalism: For the last seven years Baltimore County in Maryland has been throwing out its recycled glass, even though it still demands its residents separate it and put it in their recycling bins.

Over the weekend, news broke that the county—which does not include the City of Baltimore—has not been recycling the glass it’s been collecting as part of its recycling program. For the past seven years, the jars and bottles that residents dutifully placed in their blue bins have been being junked instead. “There are numerous issues with glass recycling, including increased presence of shredded paper in recycling streams which contaminates materials and is difficult to separate from broken glass fragments, in addition to other limitations on providing quality material,” county spokesperson Sean Naron told The Baltimore Sun.

Glass recycling reportedly stopped in 2013, the same year the county opened a $23 million single-stream recycling facility, according to the Sun article.

Meanwhile, the rest of the recycled garbage is almost certainly being trashed as well, as China no longer takes recycled paper, plastic and other scrap materials. With no one else interested in recycling this material, municipalities across the U.S. just throw it out — after making their citizens separate it.

Sadly this is very typical. Too often environmental regulations are structured to satisfy shallow emotions to make its participants feel good, while failing to accomplish what they claim they are doing.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

3 comments

  • Edward

    Sadly this is very typical.

    A quarter century ago, there was a news item that noted that glass bottles and jars in California were also not being recycled. There were large mounds of three colors of glass in the Central Valley, just waiting for someone to recycle glass. The mounds were so large that they dwarfed the bulldozer that was creeping up one of them in order to keep their conical shape.

  • Phill O

    Recycling glass was much easier when it was just pop bottles.

    I use recycled glass in a sandblaster.

  • David K

    Given that glass takes almost as much energy to recycle as it does to create from scratch I’m not surprised or outraged at this decision.

    IMHO, probably the best thing to do in cases where it is too expensive to recycle now is to separate it roughly and cheaply into categories in different landfills and label them.

    Then if at someone in the future wants to purchase a million tons of a certain of glass or plastic waste and try a new recycling process, they don’t have to wade through absolutely everything.

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