Ha, this could easily become a debate, not something I necessarily want to stimulate, but some observations, and I've tried both sides of this issue.
#1 - the whole idea of recycling ultimately amounts to another clever estabhlishment method for us to give them more of our money, not to be confused with the less-subtle methods whereby we give them our money..... think about it. You go to the store, pay money to buy stuff, stuff that comes in bottles, cans, jars, boxes, etc. Note - granted, people are mainly after the stuff inside the containers, but, you pay for the stuff AND the bottles, cans, jars the stuff comes in...the stuff is generally short-lived, it's generally consumed pretty quickly and in the consumption itself frequently causes other stuff needing recyled - sewage ;)
... but I digress. The containers tend to last longer term after, long after consumption, the metal cans, glass jars, plastic bottles, are still there, which I remind, you paid for.... and now you are going to pay somebody else to take them from you because, you see, they are going to recycle them "for you". Recyclers do not exist just because they are really swell people, they exist to make money, they make money from stuff - bottle, jars, cans, that you paid for and then GIVE to the recylers. You give them to the recyclers either because local ordinances are trying to compel you to do so for a fee OR because you just happen to be this kind of a giving person. In a real sense, giving away your bottles, cans and jars, for a fee, to somebody else, is giving away money, for a fee, and in turn, recyclers generally make more money in turning your bottles, jars and cans into something they can in turn sell to somebody else... for a profit, like some kind of surfacing material.... or some kind of material that can be used in bulk... like today's newspaper or something trendy. And it should surprise nobody that the rise of another corp dorf - big business waste management & recycling, has put another hallowed free-enterprising small business man/woman out of business - little johnny and janey who once canvased the neighborhoods scooping up pop bottles that provided a tidy windfall, anywhere from a nickel to quarter, per pop, pun intended, except in California, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Maine and Hawaii ;)
#2 - my dear old dad was WAY ahead of the recycling curve, even before the corp dorfs got involved; seriously. As far back as the mid-80s, dad had his own little recycling staging ground in operation, of sorts. Forget for the moment that he assumed the use of one bay of his eldest son's 3-bay garage. In this era, when the barrels were full, dad took them to the local recycler who generally paid about 50 to 60 cents per pound, but it's now way down, somewhere around 10-25 cents per pound now that the dorfs have become entrenched. Dad had a system, based on a series of 55-gallon metal barrels setup in the garage. The sweet-spot of dad's operation was pop cans, but he also dabbles in boxes and some other paper products. He had a good 3 or 4 55-gallon barrels just for pop cans. Dad became a walker in his middle years, walking a few miles each morning to help keep up his vim and vigor. When he caught the recycling bug, he started walking with a few plastic bags in his pocket; he'd leave the house for his early A.M. walk empty handed, then come back an hour later toting 2 bags full of cans, and in the process he was helping to clean up a bit of litter on a daily basis. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Seinfeld - Cramer & Newman recycling caper. Dad got to the point that he would begin eyeing somebody elese's pop can before they'd even half-finished drinking it. Friends, family and so forth would often comment "hey, how ya doin, saw your father this morning, at least, I think it was him, couldn't really see all of him as he seemed to be bent over a garbage dumpster rumaging around for cans". Dad had staked out some of his more profitable public dumpsters. The one at the little league field was a big money maker, as was the one at the high-school football field, but, these were seasonal sources. It all sort of came to a head when the collective 19 members of family/friends/inlaws took a summer vacation in Myrtle Beach; purchasing and emptying of all kinds of containers, bottles and cans ensued, dad was of course collecting all the empties pop and beer cans, and being away from home, he didn't have his usual operations to rely on ..... and there is of course the heat of south carolina to help marinate the cans.....and then the cockroaches discoverd his stash. Ever see the likes and size of roaches they breed down south? Aye caramba.
I don't know what the ultimate solution or answer is to this recycling situation, but I'm starting to get the idea that there may be less of a need for a solution if less stuff got purchased and consumed in the first place. But then this is sort of treading and tramping on the last refuge most of us is increasingly being herded towards - our main job and duty to be consumers of stuff. Don't look now but we are rapidly approaching another passing of that yearly mega-consuming cycle, still known and referred to by many as "the holiday season"; dad is preparing :)