Recycling, Is it always a good thing? In the simplest, easiest sense, the answer is yes, if for no other reason, to prevent it from ending up in a landfill. Some of the answers to that question would depend on the method and means of recycling. For instance, lawn and landscape clippings are always best dealt with by composting. Glass, depending on what it is to be used for, and how it is to be recycled, may require more energy to recycle than not. Aluminum, is always better recycled than tossed. The process of extracting aluminum from bauxite is so expensive in terms of time and energy, that the only time it is done is when fuel prices are low, or demand extremely high.
This brings up a fact that is not discussed as often as it should be. That is, that green is almost always involved in a head on collision with the green, money that is. The single best way to encourage environmental responsibility among manufacturers is to help to find more efficient means of production. This is a way that we can have a real and lasting effect for good on our environment.
So while we are busy about the business of protecting our environment, we should also be busy about the business of science and discovery. We need to encourage a new generation of young scientists and inventors who can work toward new means of protecting our environment now, while avoiding damaging consequences in the future. It is a difficult balancing act, but I am certain it can be done!