Letter to the editor: Market will determine value of recyclables

Published 10:12 am Thursday, September 24, 2020

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To the editor:

Your editorial points to an increasing problem as concerns recycling, especially as fewer and fewer materials are actually recycled.

Your remarks also point directly to the solution – in your quote “… capitalism, and it works pretty darn good.”

The public is expected to not only recycle, but to prepare each item or group of items according to specific instructions. And we are expected to do it for free. We should all be eager to be good citizens, good neighbors, and good custodians of the environment. But none of the other actors in the process – the people and businesses who collect, transport, and process recyclables are doing it for free. And this is material that is used to produce products which are sold for a market price.

In recent memory, many recyclables – aluminum cans, newspapers, cardboard – were collected, sorted, and turned in for a fee.

If desired levels of recycling are to be achieved, let the marketplace determine the value of doing so. Those costs will be added to the price of end-use products, and everyone will bear their proportionate share of the process.

Jerry Cohen

Advance (jerryc608@gmail.com)