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RE: [greenyes] Recycling programs not cost effective

Hello Buford,

Unfortunately I don't have time for a lengthy response to your question.
The short answers are:
YES, there are markets, but quantity and quality of materials collected are
crucial, as is location to markets. It is not wise (no pun intended) to
compare a program in a rural area to a program in a big city or an area that
is accessible to markets.
YES, recycling costs money - taxpayer money. Diversion of materials from
landfills and incinerators reduces costs and revenue can be realized by the
sale of materials, but as I said above, quantity and quality are critical.
While there may be curbside recycling programs that are realizing a net gain
financially, (hard to believe) most are experiencing a net cost. The major
benefits of recycling are global. For many local governments, faced with
competing demands on shrinking budgets, it's difficult to rationalize
increased LOCAL costs when the benefits are primarily GLOBAL. I'm not
arguing against curbside recycling, mind you, just adding a dose of reality.

Again, these are short answers. Undoubtedly you will get others and some on
this listserve may even disagree with what I've said.

Good luck in your efforts!!

Pat Franklin

PS Thanks for including our website on your
website. You might want to include our other website (
too. We call it a Bottle Bill Resource Guide -- everything you ever wanted
to know about Bottle Bills and were afraid to ask. A bottle bill would
remove 70-90% of the beverage containers from the wastestream (those
consumed at home AND those consumed away from home) and would reduce
roadside litter by 35-70%.

Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 702
Arlington, VA 22209

TEL: 703.276.9800
FAX: 703.276.9587
EMAIL: pfranklin@no.address

-----Original Message-----
From: Buford Hill [mailto:garbageman@no.address]
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 11:13 AM
To: greenyes@no.address
Subject: [greenyes] Recycling programs not cost effective

Hello all,

I live in Dickenson County Virginia. One of the poorest counties in the
state now that the Coal business is failing. I previously worked for the
County Solid Waste Department. It was my hopes that the county would
implement a recycling program to enhance the curbside pick-up program that
they started in 1995. I worked hard to find information and resources to
present to the Board of Supervisors. They were always against it because "It
would cost too much". That was 3 years ago.

Recently I was appointed to a Litter Control Ordinance Review Committee.
This committee was formed to make recommendations for a body of Ordinances
to fight the litter throughout our county. Although we have a Solid Waste
Ordinance that covers the same material presented by the county
administration, they feel that they need a specialized litter ordinance.

On this committee is the County Administrator, Director of Solid Waste, A
Board of Supervisors member, The Litter Control Coordinator, The Litter
Control Officer, Virginia General Assembly Delegate Clarence (Bud) Phillips
and myself. The Commonwealth Attorney and some private citizens were asked
to be there to assist in devising this Litter Control Ordinance but failed
to attend.

My concern is that the bureaucrats on the committee are against any type of
recycling through the Solid Waste stream giving the same worn out excuse "It
would cost too much". Stressing that there are no markets for the materials.
Del. Phillips even stressed studies that were done by the State of Virginia
that say it is NOT cost affective. Although he did not provide any
documentation to back his statements.

Is this the reality of Recycling? Does it cost too much to implement? Are
there no markets for the materials?

I need some help with this matter. If anyone has some ammunition I can fire
back at them on these issues, let me know.

Thank you

Buford Hill
Recycle, Garbage is a terrible thing to Waste.

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