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Re: [GreenYes] reply on the cost of landfilling v. recycling
Blair--

I'm a little confused by your premise here...are you saying that your landfill DISPOSAL costs are $40/ton and your recycling PROCESSING costs are $100 to $180, OR does this range also include the COLLECTION costs?    If the latter, then definately the refuse COLLECTION costs should also be added to the DISPOSAL costs to compare each system as closely as can be done under our current economics.

I think the point about landfill costs that can't be lost here is that they are subsidized to be articifically low.   So your $40/ton plus COLLECTION costs should be much higher than recycling  if the TRUE costs of landfill disposal were included...

>>> "Blair Pollock" <bpollock@co.orange.nc.us> 02/21/02 09:32AM >>>
I suppose the cost of recycling may get close to the cost of landfilling combined with waste COLLECTION. That's my experience analyzing several years of data in my community, Orange Co. NC. Without combining the cost of collection with landfilling, it's not even close.  Here landfill cost is around $40/ton and the cost of recycling ranges from about $100 to $180/ton depending on program e.g. dropoff is ~ $100 curbside is about $180. If we were able to capture some of the + externalities from use of recyclables such as reduced resource inputs to make products and put a value on those (how much is a pound of avoided air pollutants worth?) then costs would generally be in the same ballpark. We should not make spurious claims for the immediate economic benefits of recycling without being able to account for job creation and + environmental externalities in the calculation. Let's not oversell recycling. Now waste reduction on the other hand almost always beats the cost of landfil!
ling, etc. 

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