It’s a fraught topic. We want to think that recycling really does help the planet but it’s not that simple. Precycling would be better, just never getting all that junk mail in the first place, and going to the store to buy everything instead of winding up with a mudroom full of cardboard boxes from all the mail order… which invariably results in receiving more junk mail. I’ve been mail ordering more during Covid as have many people, and as a result, I probably have enough cardboard now to make a full-size Christmas tree.
But I’m grateful for recycling, so that eventually I can break it down and drive it to the collection site in town. A wonderful neighbor used to collect recycling for some of us older folks, and deliver it to the recycle bins at the local trash transfer station. It’s sad that our county closed the recycling center there, but that’s part of the problem: it’s no longer lucrative for those in the business, and in many rural areas recycled materials are simply hauled off and buried in the dump. I’ve been told that where I live, it’s more environmentally costly to recycle glass than to throw it away. The best I can hope for these days is that the cardboard really does get recycled and put to good use somehow, somewhere, someday.