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Letter to the Editor (March 15, 2011)

Dear Mr. Ziemer,

Regarding your comments in the Wisconsin Law Journal trashing recycling efforts [in the March 14 issue’s Dark Side column], I write to you separately suggesting that you consider the facts and then reconsider your position.

Why recycle paper? Because, among other things, “a staggering 14 percent of landfill space is taken up by newspaper alone” and “the energy used in recycling materials is much less than that used in working with virgin materials” and can be “anywhere between 28 percent and 70 percent less,” (according to greenliving.lovetoknow.com).

Why recycle glass? Because, among other things, a “glass bottle that is sent to a landfill can take up to a million years to break down” whereas “it takes as little as 30 days for a recycled glass bottle to leave your kitchen recycling bin and appear on a store shelf as a new glass container.” Or because each “ton of glass that is recycled saves more than a ton of the raw materials needed to create new glass, including: 1,300 pounds of sand; 410 pounds of soda ash; and 380 pounds of limestone.” Or because “Making recycled glass products … consumes 40 percent less energy than making new glass from raw materials,” (according to about.com).

Your individual recycling efforts are to be applauded. Your expressed views on societal recycling efforts are not. Whatever one’s ideology, recycling saves significant costs and resources that we, and future generations, will need in the future. I hope that you reconsider your expressed views and convey views grounded on the facts in a future blog.

Thank you for your consideration.

Richard Briles Moriarty,

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