“The Solid Waste Special Service District No. 1 has been operating the Recycling Center in largely the same way for the past eight years. During that time the volume of material processed has increased dramatically, prices paid for those commodities have drastically declined, shipping costs have increased while availability of shippers has decreased, and local labor availability has decreased. The net effect has been that providing recycling now costs significantly more than it has in the past, and the district can no longer continue to offer the same level of recycling as a free service,” officials said in a press release. The district used greenhouse gas emissions reductions as a method to assess the value of recycling different commodities.
The recycling center will close by 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. It will also close one day during the week to allow time to clean up and process the backlog of material on site, starting July 1. The recycling center will no longer accept plastics three through seven, nor any plastic No. 1 clamshells. “Diverting [plastics three through seven] equates to .07 tonnes carbon savings per ton of plastic. To recycle these materials, we would have to pay $50 per ton plus transportation and there would be no offsetting income for the cost to bale the materials,” wrote Solid Waste Special Service District No. 1, which oversees community recycling, in a blog statement on their website.
Additionally, No. 2 colored plastics will no longer be accepted, including oils, soaps and similar items.
“Recycling [No. 2 colored plastics] equated to .25 tonnes carbon savings per ton of No. 2 colored and we collect around six tonnes per year. Current price is $10 per ton received and it costs approximately $25 per ton to ship,” said the district blog.
The district explained the rationale for no longer accepting mixed paper.
“Several entities are no longer making the effort to sort the higher value office paper ($100 per ton) from the mixed paper ($10 per ton). Recycling mixed paper equates to .3 tonnes carbon saved per ton of material and office paper equates to 1.95 tonnes carbon saved. Cost to ship is $25 per ton. The recycling center will continue to accept unsorted glass.