Here is a post from the designer explaining the Recycler more...
Yeah, I'll have to get this errata in the digital rules soon.
Here's the official rules for Recycler:
You can recycle either a Building OR a Plan. If you recycled a plan, you gain it's cost + it's static printed star value. (Face down obelisk would recycle for 4, face down Statue would recycle for 4)
If you recycle a building, it's current calculated star value is used. (Face up obelisk would recycle for 4 + building count, including itself. Statue would recycle for 4)
Hopefully that helps clear it up a bit.