If this is recycling profit, let’s skip it

A letter-writer to the Wichita Eagle states “In Washington state, we participate in a nearly effortless, profitable and environmentally important recycling program.”

A paragraph later she writes “The cost of recycling is $5 a month on our refuse bill.”

I don’t know: Do these statements contradict each other?

The writer also states: “Most important, we take pride in knowing that our recycled items do not end up in some community dump.”

I say: “In Wichita, it’s nice that we aren’t yet required by government to spend our precious time handling dirty trash that has no profitable market just to save a little land in a state where we have more land than we know what to do with.”

4 Comments

  • My husband and I recycle in Wichita with Waste Connections. Their $13.50 per quarter price gets you a trash-cart-sized recycle container where all recyclables can be mixed–no separating into different bins. I was told by a competing trash company that Waste Connections sells our recyclables in Texas, where I would guess there must be more of a market for them than there is in Kansas. We get recycle points, which allows us to buy (with our points) coupons for dollars off at local merchants and online too. I will be interested to see, down the road, if this recycle service is profitable for WC. If it isn’t and is discontinued, I’m guessing those in gov’t, in their infinite wisdom, will begin a gov’t mandated recycle service here in Wichita (gov’t is really good as doing things that are unprofitable). WC will also match the rates of local trash haulers (you have to do the legwork), which saves money on your trash service.

  • Hi, in Decatur AL where we lived from 1990-94, recycling of plastics, glass, and newspapers was included in the cost of your twice weekly trash service. In addition, grass clippings, limbs, and other yard waste was picked up once a week. The yard waste was composted and then dumped in one of the parks for the citizens to use. I believe that the newspaper said that the EPA made the city quit composting.

    When I moved here, I immediately quit re-cycling with BFI. Why get charged to provide the raw materials. I now use an extra garbage can for aluminum and take it to one of the places on 21st. It’s on the way to work anyway.

  • Is the trash company to which they pay $5 a private company or a government entity? Is the recycling service optional? Wouldn’t your view change depending on the answers?

    If people want to pay for recycling, great! (We do, through Waste Connections.) If recycling is profitable in part because people choose to pay to have theirs picked up, it’s the free market at work making our landfills less full. And if so then I say all power to them. I love the recycling program with Waste Connections–we get a huge bin, twice-monthly pickup so we don’t have to drive our recyclables to the center anymore, we don’t have to sort like we used to when we took our own recyclables in, and they keep track of the weight of how much we recycle so we can earn points/rewards. If that makes a profit, I’m very happy about it.

    Kansas does have a lot of land. But I’d rather have lots of natural land out there than more landfills.

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