Patrick

So it's a crime to steal something... left on the street... for the city to haul away? Unless the people with trucks are dumping the haul in the East River, I don't see the problem. If anything, it seems the people with trucks are doing a more efficent job of it than the city, and have the proper incentive to ensure recycling. I doubt if the loss of recycling revenue will cripple the city.

Jacob H.

The timing of this article corresponds with an observation I made yesterday. I was walking through my grad school campus and I saw a facilities/service worker woman who probably barely makes minimum wage (she also appeared to be Mexican, though I cannot tell if she is a legal resident or not) carrying a large bag full of recyclable plastic bottles and cans. I recalled a scandal from my undergraduate student newspaper years ago when the recycled materials were in fact never recycled but thrown away. So I thought I would watch, in a different school, to see what happened to these bottles and cans. I spied her going toward the parking lot, and then she opened up an old minivan and put the bag in the back. She was taking them to recycle them for personal profit, not to the dumpster or to the blue dumpster. Had she not placed them in the van but instead in the blue dumpster, they would have been hauled away by the city recyclers. I wasn't sure what to think, but I applaud her for her ingenuity.

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Elton

The claims in that happiness article were pretty well debunked in this rebuttal:
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004965.html

It looks like Leonhardt was making pretty farfetched claims based on the smalls movements in the happiness data.

Patrick

So it's a crime to steal something... left on the street... for the city to haul away? Unless the people with trucks are dumping the haul in the East River, I don't see the problem. If anything, it seems the people with trucks are doing a more efficent job of it than the city, and have the proper incentive to ensure recycling. I doubt if the loss of recycling revenue will cripple the city.

Jacob H.

The timing of this article corresponds with an observation I made yesterday. I was walking through my grad school campus and I saw a facilities/service worker woman who probably barely makes minimum wage (she also appeared to be Mexican, though I cannot tell if she is a legal resident or not) carrying a large bag full of recyclable plastic bottles and cans. I recalled a scandal from my undergraduate student newspaper years ago when the recycled materials were in fact never recycled but thrown away. So I thought I would watch, in a different school, to see what happened to these bottles and cans. I spied her going toward the parking lot, and then she opened up an old minivan and put the bag in the back. She was taking them to recycle them for personal profit, not to the dumpster or to the blue dumpster. Had she not placed them in the van but instead in the blue dumpster, they would have been hauled away by the city recyclers. I wasn't sure what to think, but I applaud her for her ingenuity.

Read more...

Elton

The claims in that happiness article were pretty well debunked in this rebuttal:
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004965.html

It looks like Leonhardt was making pretty farfetched claims based on the smalls movements in the happiness data.