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Is your trash hauler really recycling your materials? Is your trash hauler really recycling your materials?

Where Does Recycling Go?

 
I am a huge fan of responsible waste management. I think U.S. households produce entirely too much garbage and take little or no responsibility for it. As you can imagine, I'm a huge supporter of recycling—it forces people to come face to face with their consumption and take some ownership. But, what happens to that recycling once it reaches the curb? In states where recycling is mandated or even encouraged, haulers provide bins for and set prices based on recycling material. Neighbors diligently sort and strip materials before putting them out to be taken. So is it that I follow trucks with all of the recycled materials mixed in with the garbage? When I call their offices, they insist they recycle and include an added fee for recycling in the weekly hauling charge. After all, there is an added fee for recycling at the dump. Well, I've decided it's a racket and a criminal one at that! I think municipalities should insist on recycling and monitor haulers to see if they comply. Heck, our town makes plenty of money giving tickets to speeders, why not earn a little something for checking on the trash haulers? I'm steamed about this. Let me know what goes on in your town.


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In My town

08/29/2007 04:09 PM Handyman

It is terrible. Unlike the northeast and the west there is not a deposit on bottles and cans. And cans are by far the highest $$ in recycling. I diligently put out my bins for cans and paper. However all that is left is paper as very early on trash day the "recycling thieves" scour the neighborhood picking up the cans. this makes the recycling of paper much more expensive because it is the same truck that picks up paper and cans. So the the same amount of fuel is spent without the reward of the payoff of cans. So while I am sure the cans get recycled, it makes my garbage fees higher to supplement these thieves who steal the cans from the city. If someone comes in to a recycling center with a truckload of cans they should be arrested. Just as if they had stolen them my house. Mind you I have no problem with people picking up cans from along the roadways and such, But from a recycling bin, that is stealing.

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Sketchy Recycling Bandits

08/30/2007 09:32 AM VTHome

Wow -- I never knew there were programs that took both. Great idea in theory. Yes, the returnables should help offset the cost of the recycling charges. Hmmm... there should be a fix because, as you say, the thieves are true criminals. What if the manufacturers had special bar codes or whatever just for Florida cans and bottles? They could be redeemed only by registered haulers. Now there's a PR coup for the bottlers and a spoiler for the skunks who are skulking around your recycling bin!

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Where Does Recycling Go

08/30/2007 10:02 AM mcmcmc

Relax Deb. Mixing recyclables with garbage, while unfortunate, is not common. In my suburban Maryland county we have three trucks - garbage, recycling and yard waste. Materials remain separated and the county has a healthy recycling rate. Given todays markets, burying recyclables, especially paper, is like burying money.

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Good News on Recycling

08/31/2007 11:41 AM VTHome

Thanks for that message-- I feel my blood pressure dropping already. So, can your Maryland suburb do a traveling road show for the rest of the nation? From what I hear, there are municipalities out there that could take a page from your book. Thanks for sharing.

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