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[GreenYes] Fwd: Enviro Benefits of Recycling New York City's MGP containers


Jennifer Gitlitz

Senior Research Associate, Container Recycling Institute

Home office:

1010 Pleasant St.

Worcester, MA 01602

Phone: (508) 793-8516

eFax: (928) 833-0460

e-mail: jengitlitz@aol.com


Container Recycling Institute
1911 Ft Myer Drive, Suite 702
Arlington, Virginia  22209
Phone: (703) 276-9800  
Fax 703.276.9587
www.Container-Recycling.org


Terri, that is 320,000 TONS (not pounds) per year (I read this in the 2/14 
New York Post article).  Re: environmental benefits of recycling this: I have 
done the following calculation:

1) assume 40% is trashed. That leaves 192,000 tons of containers recycled 
through NYC curbside.  

2) Using the average curbside beverage container weight breakdown in the BEAR 
response doc (2/7) for deposit states: 87% glass, 2.4% UBCs, 10.6% plastic, I 
came up with:  4,608 tons of aluminum cans, 20,352 tons of plastic bottles, 
and 167,040  tons of glass bottles. 

3) My rough and dirty calculation of some of the NET environmental benefits 
of this recycling are: the energy equivalent of 258 thousand barrels of crude 
oil saved, and 45 thousand tons (MTCE) of greenhouse gas emissions avoided.  

Even if more of the glass is actually landfilled, it doesn't change the 
enviro benefits total very much--the majority of the benefits accrue from 
recycling aluminum and plastics.

--Jenny Gitlitz

In a message dated 2/20/02 11:40:05 AM, Terri_Steen@belvoir.army.mil writes:

<< How many tons of A) paper, B) trash, and C) containers are collected? And,

what do these costs per ton include?  Any externalities?

At a savings of $70 / ton, there must be 800,000 pounds of containers

collected annually (or is that every 18 months?) in order for the shift from

C) containers to B) trash to reach $56 million saved.  


Even if 320,000 pounds (40%) is contamination, that still leaves 480,000

pounds, or 240 tons of MGP currently in the recycling stream.  Does anyone

know how much of that is metal vs. glass vs. plastic?  Could that amount be

separated to increase the value of each component?  


We get about 35 cents/pound, or $700 / ton, for loose, flattened UBCs.

Granted, our prices for glass and plastic are essentially 0.  But NY is a

different market and should be closer to recyclers or end-users.  Same

argument goes for paper - would separating news from mixed and/or white

increase the overall value?


I know you can't get blood from a stone - and it may be that the economics

of the program really don't add up.  But before you export another 800,000

pounds of trash to MY state, I'd like to help you come up with a better

alternative(s).  


Terri (in Virginia)


 -----Original Message-----

From:   Steve Hammer [mailto:shammer@wastesaver.com] 

Sent:   Wednesday, February 20, 2002 10:54 AM

To: RJayW2@aol.com; greenyes@grrn.org

Subject:    Re: [GreenYes] Tierney on Recycling


In the Mayor's recent budget address, he cited the dramatic difference in

pricing as the very reason why he is proposing to suspend the

metal/glass/plastic (MGP) program and retain the paper recycling program:


Cost of collecting and recycling mixed paper:  $90/ton

Cost of collecting and landfilling trash:  $130/ton

Cost of collecting and recycling MGP:  $200+/ton


By suspending the MGP program for 18 mos, the mayor anticipates we can save

$56 million.


He also cited a very high residue rate (40%) for MGP as further evidence

that the current program isn't working well.


The crux of the debate is this:  given New York's projectedreenget shortfall

next year ($4 billion?), should the City maintain a program that is not cost

effective (and will likely not be cost effective in the near term)?


Many of us are doing our best to point out ways to salvage/improve the

program, but it will be a tough sell given that libraries, programs for

homeless, etc. are also being wacked.



Steve Hammer


----- Original Message -----

From: <RJayW2@aol.com>

To: <greenyes@grrn.org>

Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 9:46 AM

Subject: [GreenYes] Tierney on Recycling



> Can we educate John Tierney on recycling?  Nah.  Can we muzzle Tierney's

> anti-recycling diatribes?  Nah--freedom of the press and all that.  Can we

> counter Tierney's arguments?  Sure we can and not with stale sayings like

> "more people recycle than vote" because more people do most everything

more

> than vote (that's why we have the politicians that we have).  Instead, the

> environmental community should call for a suspension of the expensive

> practice of landfilling.  How much does landfilling cost New Yorkers?  Is

it

> more expensive than recycling?  Do we moan about transportation costs and

> storage costs and labor costs associated with the laborous act of throwing

> away and storing throwaways before the trash man comes and takes the

material

> away to live with Jesus?  If not, we should!

>

> I'm reasonably sure that most knowledgeable New Yorkers will read John

> Tierney's opinion piece and shrug.  Those who would stop recycling because

of

> what Tierney writes probably don't read newspapers anyway.  The best way

to

> counter what Mr. Tierney has to say is to find out what the City of New

York

> pays to landfill vs. what it pays to recycle.  I'm sure the Mayor's office

> has these figures handy.  Bet me landfilling costs dwarf those of

recycling.

>

> John Waddell

> KJWB Publications/Refuse News


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 >>



Jennifer Gitlitz

Senior Research Associate, Container Recycling Institute

Home office:

1010 Pleasant St.

Worcester, MA 01602

Phone: (508) 793-8516

eFax: (928) 833-0460

e-mail: jengitlitz@aol.com


Container Recycling Institute
1911 Ft Myer Drive, Suite 702
Arlington, Virginia  22209
Phone: (703) 276-9800  
Fax 703.276.9587
www.Container-Recycling.org



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