Back on July 6th, I wrote a letter to Dr. David Suzuki about my opinions on recycling.(here is the link.). I just got the response!
Looks like we are on the same page. The Foundation supports reducing and reusing most strongly, and recycling as a lesser alternative for the reasons you outlined below (transportation costs and emissions, chemical leaching…). Certainly, there are better recycling operations than others, but generally we are aiming for a society that is not a consumer/throw away one, but one that demands producers to consider product lifecycles (for more, google “cradle to grave or cradle to cradle lifecycle”) and resourcefully and creatively reuses the goods it has. For more on this, please see the Nature Challenge website (http://www.davidsuzuki.org/NatureChallenge/) to learn more about other ways to reduce and reuse.
Thanks for writing and sharing your efforts and concerns.
Sustainability Planning Coordinator
David Suzuki Foundation
I have added a link to the wikipedia article on “cradle to grave or cradle to cradle lifecycle” that Rebecca talks about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_cycle_assessment
So, do you still not believe me that recycling is not all it is cracked up to be? I should explain that there is some recycling that does seem to be better than others. Instead of going over it all, here is the Penn and Teller video for you again. Spread the word!