Sunset Park Recycling Center
On a rainy Wednesday back in October we took a class field trip that would change my outlook on the world around me. Before coming to the plant I was aware of there being recycling as I always make sure I separate everything, but i did not know the process of recycling. The newly built SIMS Municipal Recycling Center is located in Sunset Park right on the riverfront, which is great as most of the waste arrives on barges to save both money and the environment by using less polluting trucks. However, not all of New York City’s recycle comes in on the barges, Brooklyn’s recycle still comes in by trucks, which is very inefficient way to transport. When the garbage arrives the barges are placed inside a large covered dock which has a giant opening to the building where the unprocessed recycle is held. Inside the building there’s a giant crane which unloads the barges. Then a bulldozer pushes the waste onto conveyor belts to start the process. The recycling center can handle up to 1000 tonnes of recycle a day. Once the waste is on the conveyor, it goes through different machines that cut open the bags, attract metals and other processes to sort the materials. Then the sorted materials gets compressed into cubes and are ready to ship out to buyers around the world. However, not all the garbage gets recycled the plastic bags that waste comes in with, cannot be recycled therefore its collected and sent to the local dump. This facility is an enormous help to the environment as it helps lessen our environmental footprint on the world. Even though it was rainy the trip was very eye opening, as the class discovered the inner working of the facility.
1. What is your understanding of the neoclassical perspective as presented by the authors? What are the assumptions about human economic behavior?
My understanding of the neoclassical perspective as presented by the authors is that the authors believe that the markets will eventually grow themselves to a point where technology can be made to contract the environment. They believe that if they simply put a tax on carbon emissions and leave it like that the problem will simply resolve itself when the market is right and the need is greatest. They believe that if they do anything but place a carbon tax or cap and trade policy into effect it will go against their policy of “economic growth is achieved by maximizing allocative efficiency”(pg 4). Therefore all the neoclassical policymakers will do is place a carbon tax or a cap and trade policy because they believe that is the only thing that will work against climate change. The assumptions about human economic behavior in my opinion is that we will continue to consume and spend money, the world is run by supply and demand as the demand continues to grow so too must the supply grow, as well it is believed that eventually when the need is greatest humanity will find the solution.
2. What is your understanding of the neo-Keynesian perspective? How does it differ from the neoclassical perspective? What do neo-Keynesian economists view as the most important policies to address the challenges of climate change?
My understanding of the neo-Keynesian perspective is that they focus solely on the demand without a regard to the supply part. They also believed that increasing government spending will increase consumer demand. The difference between neoclassical perspective and neo-Keynesian perspective is that in neoclassical perspective they believe the market will fix itself where the neo-Keynessians believe that “economic growth is a result of business investment, government spending, and consumer spending because of the demand for goods and services it produces. The neo-Keynesian believes in the sustainability of “green businesses” and the distribution of wealth.