The Irony of Good Intentions

The photos below were taken in the parking lot of a local hardware store where we drop off recyclable household stuff.  The irony is like a club over the head, “proceeds from this DUMP in a public parking lot go to keep the city beautiful”…It’s like rain on your wedding day.

But rather than laugh at the idiocy, let’s use itto illustrate the irony found in SO MANY good intentioned programs ( or programs that exploit our good intentions ) whose purpose are generally supported with only partial truth, faith, feelings or worse yet greed by someone with a financial interest in creating a crisis.

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Recycling is good for the environment, right?   Well, maybe yes and maybe no.  Certainly in the case above the answer is no.  The company that is supposed to be emptying these bins and recycling the material isn’t emptying them often enough resulting in litter blowing around this neighborhood and ultimately that litter is not being recycled.

But what about the real questions?

  • Is recycling an efficient use of resources?
  • Does it save money?
  • Does it cut down on landfill waste?
  • Does it cut down on pollution?

If you are looking for concrete answers to those questions, sorry fella.  There’s so much conflicting “opinion” disguised as fact on this subject that one cannot tell who is right.  For a pretty fair look at the pros & cons check out this Wikipedia article.  Too lazy to read it, let me summarize.

PROPONENTS: Recycling saves money, landfill space and energy


OPPONENTS: Recycling costs more, uses more energy and encourages greater use of plastics in the end filling up dumps faster.

How many “other” movements or causes exaggerate problems, inflate statistics and ignore facts that don’t support their view? Educated guess, all of them.


About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

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