Most claims of environmental good from recycling are myths. Recycling often uses more resources than it saves.
This essay, "Eight Great Myths of Recycling," by Daniel K. Benjamin, exposes the errors and falsehoods underlying the rhetoric. It clarifies the appropriate role of recycling, based on history and market relationships.
This paper, "Economic Growth and the State of Humanity," by Indur M. Goklany, emulates and builds upon the contributions that Julian Simon made in reporting on the progress of humankind.