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The concept of entropy is objective. In contrast, resources, contaminants, and wasted goods are subjective. The objectiveness of entropy relies on the following question: why should humans be the criteria to determine the value of matter and whether recycling is worth it? To determine whether matter is worth recycling, we must not only look at the input energy but also the relevance to a particular society. In other words, what is considered a wasteful good not worth recycling for one society could be worth recycling for another society. Therefore, the objectiveness of entropy in terms of the value of recycling really depends on the society and whether the costs of recycling are less than the costs of making new products. Looking at our system, I believe that the energy required to recycle works against the Second Law because of the organization caused by recycling (opposing the Second Law)..
In order to recycle a used product, we must insert additional energy in the collection, transportation, and recycling of used materials. This energy consumption contributes to the overall entropy of the environment. Thus, waste can be recycled only by the expenditure of additional energy and at the expense of increasing the entropy of the system as a whole. Recycling could be worth our efforts if society would be able to coordinate the rate of production into useful, low entropy resources. According to
Dr. Mayumi, "the economic process consists of two parts: one is production/consumption in which raw materials are transformed into useful economic goods, and the other is consumption in which low entropy inputs are utilized, ultimately resulting in high entropy wastes.
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In conclusion, from an economical standpoint, it is cheaper to excavate fresh material than to recycle waste. As long as there is an adequate influx of energy, it is possible, from the theoretical standpoint, to achieve complete recycling of matter. However, practical reasons including costs, time, and the amount of energy required for recycling prevent such ideal conditions. While recycling helps to reduce waste, in the end it still leaves remains of unusable waste. In other words, while the quantity of energy remains the same before and after a physical transformation, there is still a qualitative difference between useful and unusable waste.