Industry: Rewards and Risks
IT IS PERHAPS not surprising that some of the speediest reactions to the problem of reducing or recycling wastes have come from industry itself. It has, of course, always recycled a good deal of its own internal scrap and waste without much fanfare. It is also most accustomed to careful cost-benefit analysis. The first effect of environmental controls, particularly where the principle "the polluter pays" has been strictly enforced, has therefore been to encourage industries to take a new look at their own disposal policies. A lot of the productive sector's opposition to new environmental regulations was based on the fact that adding equipment to cut down polluting air emissions or building a treatment plant to ensure that effluents met prescribed standards was expensive. It did put up operating costs, since the disposal costs were no longer handed on to nature.