Posted BY: Thomas J. Bruno

In local municipalities, townships, counties, and districts nationwide, a quiet yet insidious movement is underway to force the idiocy of zero-waste on citizens (and not just in California). Zero-waste is the misconception that everything (and I mean everything) that you would put in your trash should actually be put into one of several recycling receptacles for ultimate reuse. And, of course, you will have to pay for the privilege at a much higher cost than for typical trash service.

The concept of zero-waste is cast as something that all sane, decent people should support. A wonderful new world awaits, where there is no trash, no landfill, no pollution, and with all of our waste going to produce goods. Who can oppose this? That would be like opposing puppies, or no more cancer, or no inflation, or no crime. I could go on, but you get the idea.

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I think we can agree that recycling is good, which is why humans have done it for 2000 years, long before activists, city councils, and political parties got involved. Haute couture (that’s what snobs call the garment industry) is colloquially called the rag trade. Know why? Because until the early 1900s, old clothing sent to dumps was “recycled” by rag pickers who sold the cleaned fabric to manufacturers. (As a kid, my mom used to say I looked like a rag picker; a story for another time.)

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