Monday, July 24, 2006


RE3 Baby

As I was waiting to watch the movie "RV" with Robin Williams on Sunday afternoon, I caught a glimpse at an advertisement for recycling services. It was a plead to participate in recycling and it was an arguement that I had never come across before and it went something like this:

Recycling supports 14,00 jobs in NC. A 20% increase in recycling participation would create 500 new jobs.

Okay class, please point out the problem with that statement. Has anybody else seen this before a movie or on TV? For more info, check out the website.

A few comments on the movie later.

That does seem odd. If North Carolinians spend 20% more on recyling, doesn't that just mean they will spend 20% less on all other goods?

If that's the case, these wont be 500 new jobs, they will just be 500 different jobs.

Maybe that isn't what they mean. Maybe, they are saying that North Carolina "exports" a large portion of its recycling services (iow: we recycle a lot of other state's trash). And that a 20% increase in the entire country's recyling activity will create 500 new jobs inside North Carolina?
It is an unusual form of protectionism
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dr. C had us read something put out by the state full of recycling = jobs suggestions.
We could always hire some people to dig through the dumps and find recyclable materials, too. That would provide more jobs.
Greetings - I am writing from the state recycling office in the Division of Pollution Prevention. One of our staff just saw your blog comments from last year on recycling jobs. Currently only about 55% of North Carolinians recycle, even though they have easy access to services. The point of our cinema ad is that if 20 percent more people participated, we'd be collecting enough more material to feed to recycling processors and end-users that they would need to hire an additional 500 people. We are not thereby reducing any other jobs (garbage will still be collected, stores will still sell stuff). But instead of becoming worthless by going into a landfill, the materials re-enter the stream of commerce and create economic activity.
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