According to recent EPA life cycle analyses (see above reports) recycling of waste materials has a lower impact on the environment than incineration with energy recovery, which provides substantial benefit over landfill (as described in the EPA solid waste management hierarchy). However, recycling and waste-to-energy are not mutually exclusive and each is best applied to a different subset of the wastes we generate. After all recyclable materials are removed from the waste stream there is still plenty of waste which can be processed in our waste-to-energy facility. I suggest that recycling, particularly a curbside collection program, should be considered on its own merits, as another method of disposing of our waste. These are some links with more information about waste-to-energy.