This month, I have been on a recycling kick around the house. I've never been a big recycler, not for any reason in particular, as I've just never got around to it. I am amazed now at how many products you can actually recycle.
What bugs me about recycling is how many try to treat it as only an economic issue. I've seen where cities had to suspend recycling during lean times, and this makes perfect sense. But even if recycling isn't always economically feasible, I fail to see when it is not sustainable. Any sustainable ecosystem recycles its waste products in some way.
So I don't think Americans are being duped or are being naive when they recycle. I think most people realize that waste that isn't recycled has to go somewhere, and therefore recycling avoids this issue and repurposes the waste for a productive use.