The Debate over Trash or Treasure

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The debate of recycling brings some great questions and arguments to consider. Recycling was brought about by the realization that the rate of trash accumulated will eventually surpass the amount of space available. Eventually, if this problem is not taken care of, there will be trash everywhere with no space to live. Some say that recycling is an exceptional solution to the problem. Others say that recycling wastes more than it saves, and is an over-all worthless effort. I personally agree that recycling will solve that problem. Recycling will eliminate need for expansion of landfills, provide jobs, and maintain a constant reuse of nonrenewable resources. John Tierney was a journalist who wrote an article for The New York Times on June 30, 1996 called “Recycling is Garbage”. He exposed the high expenses in collecting and separating the garbage, and the lack of demand for most of the resulting materials (Shaw) . He stated “Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America: a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources”. Tierney tried to convince his readers by applying his argument through a story of a science class discovering the meaning and use of recycling. Using this story appealed to his audience members who are moved by pathos. One of his arguments was that it costs more to recycle than to just throw it in the dump. Tierney supports his claim on cost by stating: “For every ton of glass, plastic and metal that the truck delivers to a private recycler, the city currently spends $200 more than it would spend to bury the material in a landfill” (Tierney ). Another one of his arguments was that recycling is a waste of the most valuable resource: human time, which is getting consistently more expensive. He backs this statement by saying “An hour of labor today buys a larger quantity of energy or raw materials than ever before. To

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