Jul 312013

Recycling Reconsidered (Urban and Industrial Environments)

Recycling Reconsidered (Urban and Industrial Environments)

How the success and popularity of recycling has diverted attention from the steep environmental costs of manufacturing the goods we consume and discard.


  One Response to “Recycling Reconsidered (Urban and Industrial Environments)”

  1. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    great history, forward-thinking perspective on zero waste, November 21, 2012

    The waste/recycling world has a lot of informative journal/magazine publications, but it can be hard to find an entire book dedicated to the industry and its achievements. This book looks at landfill diversion and employment statistics, policy successes and failures, and ties these in with the wavering history of public opinion toward waste, recycling, and materials management – all in a United States context. This is a ton of information, so reading and processing it took a while, but was well worth it. I came away from the book with a more concrete idea of what it will take – in tons, technology, and policy – to ACTUALLY move toward zero waste. For example, MacBride presents astonishing evidence for how little attention is paid to industrial waste tonnages in the overall scheme of materials management policy. I know personally that the materials management industry is already aware of this problem and moving to change, but MacBride provides the numbers and history behind how the problem developed in the first place – very interesting.

    Some of the status quo recycling programs that we know and love have reached a point of diminishing returns, so it’s time we turn to a hard-hitting mix of policies and market drivers that can properly handle the crazy assortment of materials that flow out of the homes and businesses in this country. MacBride lays out a policy framework for doing just that. Though my day-to-day work is at the community scale, Recycling Reconsidered has me thinking more intelligently about long-term impacts and scalability of zero waste initiatives.

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