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RE: [greenyes] Recycling programs not cost effective

Everything costs money! Mining and processing raw materials into once use
containers and newspapers which get burnt and buried is paid for by you and
you are taxed on it too. The waste haulage companies get tax breaks to help
them make more money but somehow the recyclers seem to have to justify every
penny as being cost effective. Sure separating materials streams is more
time consuming and employs more people than just trashing it all but you
have to look at the big picture. The problem is that you cannot easily
'join up' the cost benefit analysis easily - the Councils that have to pay
for the kerbside (with your money) are loath to push rates up and they are
not likely to get extra funding to do the best thing for the environment
(unless GW has a big change of heart and actually reverses some of his
environmental legislation or sees the liberal light!)

In other words politically it is difficult for councils to justify spending
more money on recycling unless they get some kind of pay off that recognises
that there will be less pollution in the whole system. Hmm - here in Europe
its happening because if it doesn't then member states will get penalised -
all biodegradable fraction phased out of landfill - higher and higher
recycling rates need to be achieved and kerbside collections are going in
everywhere now including garden clippings and kitchen waste in some parts
(although the draconian Animal by products legislation following on from
Foot and mouth makes this one tricky - us composters read BioCycle with awe
at the stories of how to compost dead animals etc!)
Councils here are working with community sector more and more especially
where they can help to reach those hard to get rural areas and add more
value with innovative programmes. (Education & awareness too)

So keep plugging away with the arguments for recycling and don't forget to
push the Reuse message too!

Nicky Scott
Community Composting Network UK
Author Composting for all & Reduce Reuse Recycle (

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Franklin [SMTP:pfranklin@no.address]
> Sent: 18 August 2004 04:00
> To: Buford Hill; Green Yes
> Cc: Kyle Paulson
> Subject: 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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