Okay do this with 1k+ and tell me how long it takes to open them all + recycle them 4 at a time when equipment slot gets full... it's very tedious, and Hope you dont accidentally recycle your perm equips too (done before with Pow Bell and bunny ears)
I did it with 600+ and it took me less than 3 minutes to open all of them. the recycling thing takes much more, and yet all the process shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.
you can always delete unwanted things from your inventory and you're not required to recycle all of the things. it's really up to you. the recycle lucky balls don't really give that much, and may not really be worth the time it takes you to recycle things (as you said - 1+ hour).