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[GreenYes] Re: Recycling Glass
Here's the data on upstream externalized benefits 
from recycling versus landfilling various materials 
based on just the 27 pollutants included in the 
EPA's DST model:

Mixed Paper $0 - $74; ONP $ -17 to 233; OCC $3 to 
$65; Glass $18 to $68; ALM $175 to $1684; 
Tin/ferrous metals $19 to $86; PET $47 to $322; HDPE 
$21 to $133.

So looking at that list it looks as if we decide 
that glass goes, then mixed paper, cardboard and 
tin/ferrous metals go, too. I.e., once you start to 
throw materials off the bus it's a downward slippery 

But let's look a little further. Here's another 
interesting little table (from our 1998 study on the 
Economic and Environmental Benefits of Beverage 
Container Recycling for MASSPIRG and from the 
National Solid Waste Management Association studies 
on curbside collection costs and processing costs)

Internalized range of costs for curbside recycling:

Mixed paper $82 to $159 
ONP $85 to $148
OCC $85 to $149
glass $105-$201
PET $1051 to $1696
HDPE $1109 to $1657
Alm  $599 to $1111
Tin $247 to $435

And here's the price range for these materials in 
the Pacific Northwest:
Mixed paper $-14 to $136
ONP $30 to $230
OCC $43 to $240
Glass $3 (average including mixed broken cullet) to 
PET $93 to $737
HDPE $107 to $564
ALM $533 to $1480
TIN $-10 to $55

So let's compute the net internalized plus 
externalized cost/benefit for the various materials 
on the bus using the formula: Material Revenue + 
Externalized Upstream Benefits - Collection & 
Processing Costs. Let's create the range with high 
end revenue and high end upstream benefits combined 
with low end costs to get the best case, and low end 
revenues and low end upstream benefits combined with 
high end costs to get the worst case:

Mixed paper $128 down to $ -173
ONP $378 down to $-135
OCC $220 down to $-103
Glass $8 down to $-180
PET $8 down to $-1556
HDPE $-412 down to $-1529
ALM $2565 down to $-403
TIN/Ferrous $-106 down to $-426.

On this basis glass ranks above PET, HDPE and 
TIN/ferrous, and even above aluminum in the worst 
case. So would you internal cost or internal + 
external cost calculators throw all these types of 
containers off the bus? 

What Ric Anthony said bears repeating : Let's 
include more materials on the bus, not begin 
throwing things off. I would add that a well 
designed collection and processing system can deal 
with glass quite well, thank you very much. It can 
also collect aluminum foil, flexible plastic 
packaging, and all types of plastic containers as 
well. The way to the future is to be inclusive; the 
way to the demise of recycling is to begin to throw 
out materials for this or that short-run reason.

Finally, for John Reindl - most of this info is in 
one article or another in The Monthly UnEconomist or 
in SRMG studies downloadable from our website  What's not yet there will eventually 
get there when I have time to donate to getting 
these data out.

Dr. Jeffrey Morris
Sound Resource Management - Bellingham Office
112 Ohio Street, Suite 202
Bellingham, WA 98225

360-738-0256 fax or 
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