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Recycling Looking Good to Frugal Eyes
April 16th, 2009

“With the cost of exporting the citys regular rubbish expected to rise by $80 million over the next few years and reach $395 million in 2012,” Doug Turetsky writes on the Independent Budget Office blog, “it may be fiscally prudent to pull the citys recycling rates out of the trash bin.” (Just in time for Earth Day.)

Although it is currently cheaper to ship our trash to landfills and incinerators, he points out that the rising costs are beginning to make recycling look like a promising alternative.

Besides, the city has yet to even reach its current target of diverting 25 percent of recyclables from the trash, he adds. But if we were to meet that goal, it could reduce the price of recycling further, the IBO points out. That diversion goal doesn’t include forms of waste the city doesn’t accept for recycling, such as plastic take-out containers.

Still, the economic downturn is affecting the cost paid for recyclables, which doesn’t help.

Perhaps another way to divert waste from landfills is dealing with electronic waste, which is also often hazardous. Last year, the City Council passed legislation requiring manufacturers to set up free and accessible recycling centers for their products by 2010. In the meantime, an organization called The 4th Bin has launched a competition for the design of e-waste recycling bins.

And the new bottle deposit bill passed by the state could also help divert recyclables. Called the “bigger better bottle bill,” it will expand the 5 cent deposit fee to non-carbonated beverages.

By on April 16, 2009, 7:35 pm
In category: Albany,Environment,Public Finance | Comments Off

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