CSWD reinstitutes recycling fee for haulers

first_imgCSWD reinstitutes recycling fee for haulersThe economic crisis has come to roost in, of all places, your recycling bin. Chittenden Solid Waste District’s Materials Recovery Facility – where most blue-bin recyclables are sorted – is funded in large part by the money it makes by selling recyclables on international commodities markets. Those markets have been shaken badly by the current economic crisis and the recent plunge in prices CSWD receives for those same commodities means that the District will have to resume charging haulers for the recyclables they bring to its Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). At this time, recycling will remain free at CSWD Drop-Off Centers, where quantities up to a cubic yard are accepted.Beginning January 2, 2009, CSWD will charge haulers $20 per ton for recyclables generated within the District and $25 per ton for out-of-District materials. For all of 2008, CSWD has paid haulers up to $7 per ton for in-District recyclables. Prior to that, CSWD charged for recyclables at $13 and $24 per ton respectively. Trash disposal fees remain at about $100 per ton, thus the economic incentives for recycling are still significant.”There isn’t a single commodity that hasn’t been affected by the economic situation we find ourselves in today, except for glass, which is used locally in the construction industry” comments CSWD General Manager Tom Moreau. “Our strategy has been to buffer haulers and consumers as much as possible from price swings but this latest dive has been so extreme that we had to respond with a fee increase.”As recently as this summer, blue-bin recyclables such as aluminum, steel, plastics, and paper commanded a combined average of $128 per ton. The use of recycled instead of virgin materials in manufacturing processes typically requires significantly less energy and generates less pollution. Spiking oil prices made manufacturers even hungrier for these materials because it became much cheaper to manufacture new products by using recyclables instead of virgin materials. Enter the banking crisis with the resulting credit crunch and global economic downturn, and you have a perfect storm for grinding manufacturing to a halt and sending those once-robust commodities markets for recyclables down to an average of $20 per ton-with the bottom not yet in sight. “The fee increase at the MRF will have a small impact on the average Chittenden County household,” notes Moreau. “The average household generates about a quarter of a ton of recyclables per year. The $20 per ton fee increase extrapolates to an increase of about $0.61 per month per household.”last_img

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