Curbside recycling costs money. Most items in your bin are worth money when resold, so it’s up to you to help offset these programs through participation.
In most cases, tax dollars or trash bills cover the cost of curbside recycling, but what are they paying for?
It costs money to pay haulers for pick-up and transport to a materials recovery facility (MRF) for processing. There’s also costs for employees to sort through recyclables, pull out contaminants and direct materials where they need to go.
If costs outweighs the resale value of materials, cities must re-examine their motives. Here’s how you can help:
- Always recycle your valuable materials, such as paper. They offset costs, so the more you recycle the better.
- Find out specific materials that can be recovered so less sorting is needed. Each community is unique; your community may have restrictions on what types of paper are accepted. Earth911’s recycling locator can help.
- Encourage your family and friends to recycle, both when they visit you and at their own homes.
- Promote recycling in your neighborhood and let people know how they can participate.
- Be prepared for your pick-up day. Know your day and pick-up time so that your house is not missed.
- Speak out! Let the program know your thoughts. How can it improve and get more residents involved?
Increasing participation is a surefire way to increase collections and the amount recycled. If you share in the revenue with your MRF, you will quickly see the benefit. If you do not, consider adding this to your contract when it is re-negotiated.