Is it always more earth friendly to recycle?

Or it is better to dump it.

Answer:
Well, the three R's are in order of importance:
1) Reduce
2) Reuse
3) Recycle

Recycling is always preffered to just dumping it. While some people will say that the cost of recycling is higher than it would to make a new one, the environmental impact is lower. When you recycle something, it means that the next time a manufacturer needs that material, they don't have to get it as a raw good again.

For example, for every aluminum can that is recycled, that's that much less aluminum that needs to be mined from the earth. For recycling paper, that means that less trees need to be cut down to make new paper. These are examples of how "Recycle" is a part of "Reduce."

Many companies buy up post comsumer materials to use in their products. The more people recycle, the higher these percentages can be, the less of an impact will be made to get the raw goods for the product.
Of course it is better to recycle!! That way you are reusing all the products that were produced, instead of wasting it away, and wasting even more energy and resources making new products of the same. Virtually everything is recyclable, from water to plastic. Dumping wastes not only pollutes the environment, it also releases toxics, making life harder for everyone.
Spudmonkey is correct.

It is environmentally friendlier not to buy an item in the first place unless you have an actual need for it, to give it to someone who can continue to use it when you are finished with it, or to make something new out of it ... after those methods are exhausted, then the article is garbage.
If you are able to, it is always best to recycle.

I'm not really an "environmentalist", but I believe in reducing waste and keeping our planet clean.

Having the ability to recycle something is always better than just trashing it.
Recycle. And I'm not even an environmental kook.
I have wondered about recycling paper. What are the bleaches, and other chemicals used to get the ink out of the paper? What are the environmental impacts of those agents and how are they disposed of?

The recycling can't be economical because recycled paper costs more than virgin paper and the quality is lower.

There is no shortage of trees, since the timber compnies have been planting two trees for every one they cut down and they've been doing that for 50 years.

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