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Re: [greenyes] Trashed Recyclables and the Big Picture
Steve Bloom asked if LA counts the residuals toward their 50% diversion 
requirement and noted that if they did so they would be very much 
incentivized to not do education to reduce residuals.

LA did count the residuals toward their diversion requirements a while but 
agreed to stop that process a few years ago after discussion with one of 
their commissioners  Their reports now show residual as disposed rather than 
recycled.  However, there are other incentives.  For example, their overall 
cost per ton for collection includes the residual, thus potentially showing 
routes as more efficient.  And LA requires MRF's to include disposal of 
residual in the price. Since LA still gets paid something for their 
commingled recyclables (although much less than they'd get if they were 
cleaner), the net "cost" of collecting the contaminated recyclables looks 
even better and their "disposal" costs seem lower.  Finally, as with any 
municipal budget process, adding new money today (in this case for 
education), even if it will save taxpayers money tomorrow, is not terribly 
popular - especially when that same budget already contains undisputed funds 
for the more wasteful practices.

Joan Edwards 

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