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[greenyes] Re Recycling programs not cost effective

Buford et al,

Comparing recycling and waste disposal is like comparing apples and
oranges, environmentally and economically. The cost of recycling is
closer to "cradle-to-grave" inclusion. Waste disposal is only one
snapshot in the life cycle of a product. Nor does this acknowledge how
old the waste industry is, how much larger it is that it can benefit
from economy of scale, the different financial treatment and/or
assistance, etc.

Regarding their argument that recycling costs, well, so does
landfilling or other forms of disposal. We're not a particularly
wealthy City, but we have managed to taxpayer fund 27 dropoff sites.
Since January, the cost to recycle has fluctuated between $56 and $70
per ton (including labor, fuel, etc.). Our current landfill tipping fee
is $30 per ton (not including any Divisional overhead to collect and
haul the waste). If you think about it, it's probably cheaper for us to
dropoff recycle than landfill, but that would require all of our
residents to drop off their recyclables (not feasible). But, depending
on the tonnage we can bring in, and the prices we're getting for the
materials (cardboard is sky high right now!, steel and aluminum
industries are scrounging for scrap), I'm convinced that we can drive
the cost of recycling down to the cost of landfilling, if not break
even. On the other hand, our tipping fees will only increase (they've
already gone up once see we negotiated a contract two years ago).

We have a market for commingled containers (aluminum cans; brown,
clear, green glass bottles and jars; plastic #1 and #2 bottles and jugs;
steel cans); commingled papers (junk mail, magazines, mixed office
paper, newspaper); and commingled corrugated cardboard,
chipboard/paperboard, and carrier stock. Because of the way our MRF
wants our materials, I don't see us going to fewer streams. And because
we're still trying to increase participation, I don't see us going to
more streams - yet (if it's not convenient enough, more people won't do
it). I know other entities in our metro area have markets for a wide
variety of other recyclables (e.g., plastics 3 through 7, electronics,
paint, household batteries, etc.).

The St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District (which includes
the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and St.
Charles County) recently published a report on the [positive] impact
recycling has to our economy, including employment (they're currently
working on a study about environmental impact). Titled "Recycling Means
Business," it's available online at

"Recycling Means Business in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area!

Available On-Line...
St. Louis' Economic Information Study Brochure & Full Report

Good News...The St. Louis Metropolitan Area Compares Favorably to the
U.S. Average Regarding the Economic Impact of the local Recycling, Reuse
and Remanufacturing Industry.

While most people are aware of the environmental benefits of recycling,
many are surprised at the economic benefits recycling provides, both
locally and nationally.

There are thousands of jobs in the St. Louis region related to the
collection, processing, and remanufacturing of new products made from
recovered materials. These resources provide an economic opportunity
that will continue to play a major role in our regional economy in the
years ahead."

Don't give up! Our economy and our environment are not mutually
exclusive. If anything, our economy is based on our environment (where
does everyone think our resources come from?). Whether we like it or
not, unless we change our lifestyle now, Earth will eventually force us
to reduce/reuse/recycle. Without spreading "gloom and doom," it's
simply our job to lead the way, showing everyone that it can be
economical and convenient.



Ms. Jill Hamilton
Recycling Program Manager
City of St. Louis Refuse Division
4100 South First Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63118
Phone - Direct 314.353.7176
Phone - Switchboard 314.353.8877
Fax 314.352.5627


Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 11:12:55 0400
To: <greenyes@no.address>
From: "Buford Hill" <garbageman@no.address>
Subject: Recycling programs not cost effective
Message ID: <001001c48535$e73b4a80$b2e4fea9@no.address>

Content Type: text/plain;
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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

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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