Worstall Rubbish and The Divison of Labour
If we add in the cost of sorting out items, it would make more sense to throw everything in landfill
Whilst Tim's points are valid I think they miss the essential Adam Smithian point. Sorting of rubbish can be done very well by large machines at centralised factories (or even outsourced to foreign lands). But the green movement insist we do it at home as a penance for our consumerism, almost as if when we needed pins we were forced to make them at home. It is this forbidding of the division of labour that makes us poorer and is symptomatic of the green movement.
(Elsewhere in The Times - it is hinted how landfill will work to provide raw materials. The best way to get the energy potential out of the rubbish is stuff it in a hole, let the organic material rot down, capture the methane and then once it is inert go and dig the plastic up to recycle it. Now isn't that easier and more efficient than scraping your plates into a council provided bucket which a lorry collects once a fortnight and washing out the yogurt pots for another lorry to collect on a different day?)