Re: greenyes-d Digest V99 #199

Blair Pollock (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 19:14:28 -0400

Doug Koplow:

In response to your query about accurate full cost accounting, the state of
North Carolina's Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental
Assistance (formerly the Office of Waste Reduction) did a fairly rigorous
analysis of costs of recycling v. waste collection/disposal in six NC
localities. Data collected was fairly reliable. The study is available from
their office in North Carolina. 919-715-6500. They also have electronic
worksheets to do the work on. They have a website, you can find it out by
emailing them at
>Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 15:49:10 -0400
>From: "Doug Koplow" <>
>Subject: Re: [GRRN] Subsidizing recyclables with poor markets
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>It is my impression that few municipalities properly cost their solid =
>waste management operations. Without accurate cost accounting in place, =
>it is rather difficult to discuss whether or not recycling is being =
>Solid waste management aims to move discards away from people. If it =
>costs $20 per month to send trash to a landfill, but less than $20 per =
>month to send some to a landfill and some to recycling, then recycling is =
>economic. It is irrelevant whether or not the cost of recycling collection=
> and disposal is a positive number (i.e., shows a net revenue gain on =
>scrap sales), so long as the revenue loss is less than what it would be =
>for landfilling (or incineration) alone.
>I am interested in whether there are cities that have looked at their =
>costing for solid waste carefully. What have these assessments shown? =
>Are there commodities that don't break even through scrap revenues alone, =
>but are highly economic in terms of avoided costs? Are any of these =
>assessments publicly available? =20
>Doug Koplow
>Industrial Economics, Inc.
>2067 Massachusetts Avenue
>Cambridge, MA 02140
>tel: 617/354-0074
>fax: 617/354-0463
Blair Pollock
Phone: (919) 968-2788
Fax: 932-2900
Town of Chapel Hill
Solid Waste Management Department
306 North Columbia St.
Chapel Hill NC 27516-2113