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Re: [GreenYes] cost comparison of collecting commingled v. source sepreccyclables
Dear Blair:

As someone who has dealt with the issues of how to reduce the cost of
providing recycling collection services it is my opinion that getting
collection costs (per ton, per household) from other communities will, by
itself, not shed light on what it is going to cost your community.
Collection costs are a function of a very large number of factors, many of
which are highly localized in nature, such as route demographics and
physical characteristics.  Rather than just focusing on what reported costs
are, the more important issues that I would pay attention to would be:

1. The methodology for calculating costs - are all costs properly accounted
for, calculated correctly and allocated properly?  Is this methodology the
same, better or worse than the cost methodology being used by your program?
Are there techniques that should be emulated?

2. Documentation that provide insights into what are the critical cost
drivers - that is, those factors that can cause significant changes in
operating costs?

3. Documentation that would provide insights into what changes in effective
diversion rates and costs are the product of what changes in key program
parameters.  That is where, for example, SERA's "Beyond Case Studies" report
is helpful in this regard.

All of the above are critical inputs to the development of a valid
collection model that you would then need to evaluate different collection
scenarios (and their variations) such as staying with curbsorting, two
stream collection or single stream collection.

This leads to me ask if your program has a collection model that it has
developed or plans to use as part of your evaluation efforts.  I also wonder
if any list members can recommend collection cost models they have used or
know about from either commercial or non-commercial sources?


Roger M. Guttentag
----- Original Message -----
From: Blair Pollock <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 6:10 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] cost comparison of collecting commingled v. source

> I am in search of any documented data  comparing the costs of collecting
source sep as we do now with a six way sort at the curb
> with cost of collecting a single stream or even dual e.g. ,
paper/containers or glass/not glass , etc.
> We collect weekly from 15,500 housheolds and biweekly from another 9,000.
slightly smaller scale than san diego.
> A sound documentation would show both the collection cost comparison and
the cost when the MRF or other processing as well as residual rates and
collector injury rates were added in.
> Thank you for taking time to respond. replying directly or to the list is
fine. I am very glad the list is back up. hello to all readers/writes. the
forum remains lively.
> __________________________________________________
> Blair Pollock
> Solid Waste Programs Manager
> (919) 968-2788
> fax: (919) 932-2900
> PO Box 17177
> Chapel Hill, NC 27516-7177
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