[GRRN] More on curbside

William P McGowan (kai@umail.ucsb.edu)
Fri, 8 Oct 1999 22:21:03 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri Oct 8 199, Bill McGowan replied;

There are some really big holes in Bill Carter's reply to my post that are
well camouflaged by all that text.

PAYT is not a "tax," well that's fine and danady, but carter never
really addresses the regressivity part, does he? If a person earning
less than $16,000 a year has a garbage bill onf $35 one month and one
based on a PAYT system of $42, then the percentage of her income
dedicated to garbage/recycling has increased. The person p0aying the bill
does not care whether this increased portion of her income is taken away
from her by something called a "tax" or a "recycling service fee." the
effect is the same.

As to the "costs" of running a curbside recycling program, they are
real, for even Mr. Carter allows for a loss if a system is selling its
material at a loss. In this case, Carter's assertion that recycling
programs lose less money as they increase the volume can be stood on its
head. Consider an example of not too long ago:

In June, Baled #6 News was selling for $70 a ton, delivered to the mill.
If curbside collectio only costs $15 a ton, which is low, that leaves
the recycler (or garbage company) only $55 from which to make a profit.
Since baling costs in the neighborhood of $30 a ton, and transportation
to the mill another $20 a ton, we have a net profit, in good markets,
of maybe $5 a ton. But remember, that because most MRF news does not
command a premium price, this $70 buy price is for onlky the very best
material. Since everything since the sale price is fixed, a dip of ten
dollars can push and entire program into the red--which is where most
operate without subsidy from the garbage bill. Consider losing $10 a ton
across 1000 tons a month, and you see what I mean abt the cost of

carter may be right from a systems point of view, that by redirecting
recyclables out of waste we are genmerating svaings that escape into the
ether. My perspective comes from that of one who has to pay the bills
with real money at the end of each month.

Bill McGowan
History UCSB/Rincon Recycling

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William P. McGowan
UCSB History/Rincon Recycling