Most claims of environmental good from recycling are myths. Recycling often uses more resources than it saves.
In the early twentieth century, L.A. purchased water rights by buying up farmland and conveying the water back to L.A. These purchases created a legacy of distrust and suspicion, as people began to view the trades as theft. Gary Libecap takes a second look at the L.A.-Owens Valley transfers.
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.