LETTER- All trash costs us
According to the author of "(Re)cycle of life" [cover story, February 8], money rules. It's too bad she didn't do full-cost accounting, because her picture was far from complete. Where were the scientific, moral, social, and detailed environmental considerations in her dismissal of recycling?
Seems to me that any discussion of recycling should include a life-cycle analysis that includes the environmental impact of a product from the raw materials through its useful life and its disposal.
To say "there's debate on the environmental wisdom of styrofoam versus the impact of using hot water to wash china mugs," is unreal! How about a little investigative work on what goes into styrofoam production? Consider how the raw materials are obtained from the earth (including all the energy, water, and pollution that process entails), what kind and amounts of toxic pollution the manufacturer spews out of its stacks, and how much water and energy are needed to fuel the production line– not to mention how dangerous the fumes are to the employees, as well as to the air we all breathe. And what happens when it's put in a plastic bag and buried under mounds of garbage at a landfill?
Everything we throw away costs us and the environment both coming and going. My suggestion? Live your life as if the earth mattered.