Plastic scrap bundles. Image credit:AaronPennFiles
Recycling businesses, especially start-ups, need to be closely watched by Federal and State authorities to avoid the misery of huge messes left, fires and explosions, and water pollution. There is a long history of such problems justifying close regulation. It continues, as we see in this example reported by Environment News Service: "Arriving at the scene, a South Elgin police officer observed an individual at the business allegedly pouring the contents of a blue plastic drum into a storm drain at the D & Y facility. The drain flows to a creek, which empties into the Fox River. Dead carp, catfish, frogs and water snakes were pulled from the creek."
Lessons for 'green' entrepreneurs and libertarians.
Recyclers and 'green manufacturers' have to do much more than move product and make payroll. They have other equally important responsibilities in worker protection, environmental compliance, treating the neighbors with respect, and fire prevention, for example. Ignorance of environmental laws is no excuse. Small businesses have no right to pollute public waters and kill fish.'Get polluting businesses off our back' is what the intellectually honest libertarian should be saying. Fortunately, we don't have to hold our breath waiting for that to happen. The polluters in this example were turned in by a neighbor. It often happens that way.
An entire generation of young entrepreneurs and recent immigrants, I am afraid, must relearn the lessons following Earth Day #1. How would a business man in Illinois learn these things?
Well it turns out that there is thing called the "Internet" which could easily land a business person at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Small Business , where free help is available.