by Daniel Benjamin
PERC – The Property and Environment Research Center
September 15, 2003
Governments on both shores of the Atlantic have recently announced plans to force businesses and individuals to recycle more trash. The European Union has ordered the citizens of the United Kingdom to roughly double their recycling rates by 2008, while the city governments of New York and Seattle have proposed mandatory expansions of existing recycling programs. These moves are not based on new developments in resource conservation; instead they-like other mandatory recycling programs-rest on misconceptions of mythic proportions. This essay discusses the most egregious of these myths.