Why Do We Recycle?
6 x 9
6 x 9
The earnest warnings of an impending "solid waste crisis" that permeated the 1980s provided the impetus for the widespread adoption of municipal recycling programs. Since that time America has witnessed a remarkable rise in public participation in recycling activities, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and commercial and office programs. Recently, however, a backlash against these programs has developed. A vocal group of "anti-recyclers" has appeared, arguing that recycling is not an economically efficient strategy for addressing waste management problems.
In Why Do We Recycle? Frank Ackerman examines the arguments for and against recycling, focusing on the debate surrounding the use of economic mechanisms to determine the value of recycling. Based on previously unpublished research conducted by the Tellus Institute, a nonprofit environmental research group in Boston, Massachusetts, Ackerman presents an alternative view of the theory of market incentives, challenging the notion that setting appropriate prices and allowing unfettered competition will result in the most efficient level of recycling. Among the topics he considers are:
Backed by empirical data and replete with specific examples, the book offers valuable guidance for municipal planners, environmental managers, and policymakers responsible for establishing and implementing recycling programs. It is also an accessible introduction to the subject for faculty, students, and concerned citizens interested in the social, economic, and ethical underpinnings of recycling efforts.
Chapter 1. Beyond the Trash Can
Chapter 2. Getting the Prices Wrong
Chapter 3. More Than the Market
Chapter 4. A Truck Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Chapter 5. Drink Boxes, Styrofoam, and PVC
Chapter 6. The Dot Heard around the World
Chapter 7. Bottle Bills, Litter, and the Cost of Convenience
Chapter 8. Organic Waste and the Virtue of Inaction
Chapter 9. The Hidden Utility
Chapter 10. Material Use and Sustainable Affluence