Albemarle Curbs Curbside Recycling

Big_Al writes: Beginning in July, the county will no longer pay contractors to collect recyclables. Residents wishing to recycle will have to schlep everything to the McIntire Road Recycling Center. The county blames the negative revenue stream recycling generates for the desicion. The Daily Progress has the story.

9 Responses to “Albemarle Curbs Curbside Recycling”

  • Ho hum.

  • Which is more expensive just throwing it into a landfill or paying to give it to a recycler. If it’s cheaper to recycle then is there really a problem?

    just asking.

  • Good thinking, Albemarle. I think that the city should follow suit and end the practice of picking up trash. I mean, the city doesn’t make money on it — it’s just a "negative revenue stream." I feel that we should simply leave our trash wherever it falls, rather than waste one more cent of taxpayer dollars on this wasteful "service."

  • I’m sure you and I would not believe the amount of people who don’t understand the irony in your post. For them, it’s "duh, why bother? it’s just gonna end up somewhere nobody wants anyways, right?"

  • It requires less energy to recycle most materials than to mine them, however that doesn’t mean it is cheaper.

    First off, the infrastructure to produce say, a soda can from mined ore exists already. A recycling plant requires substantial initial investment, and ongoing labor costs that outpace traditional mining. The traditional facilities already exist and are paid for. The recycling plants have lower electric bills, but thats about it. Every other aspect of their bottom line is more expensive. If you think saving the air is worth the decrease in productivity (money) then this is the way to go. If you’re more economically concerned than environmentally concerned, then stay away from recycling.

    Now with things like plastics, recycling requires MORE energy than producing plastic from virgin sources. The major reason is that there are many different kinds of plastic that must be sorted and seperated before they can be used. This doesn’t have to happen when using virgin petrolium. You’re actually POLLUTING the planet with the coal burned for the extra energy required, not to mention wasting money on the increased labor and infrastructure costs.

    Also, plastics are recycled into things other than containers. They make them into plastic bumpers, engineered lumber, etc. All of which are non-recylable materials. So it is not really recycled at all, but only "collected".

    The "chasing arrows" symbol supposedly means a plastic container is recyclable. The arrows are meaningless. Every plastic container is marked with the chasing arrows symbol. The only information in the symbol is the number inside the arrows, which indicates the general class of resin used to make the container. Some of which are UNRECYCLABLE.

    The amount of plastics that arrive in landfills has been shown in studies to remain CONSTANT when curbside recycling programs are instituted. The reason for this is that the percieved recyclability of plastics causes their use to be increased, this far outpaces the actual amount of RECYCLABLE plastic that arrives from curbside service.

    Ads are run to promote plastics recyclability. Actually virgin resin producers pay for the bulk of these ads. Most such ads are placed by virgin plastic manufacturers whose goal is to promote plastic sales. These advertisements are aimed at removing or diminishing virgin plastic’s greatest challenge to market expansion, negative public conception of plastic as unrecyclable, environmentally harmful, and a major component of wastes that must be landfilled or burned.

    And glass is similar to plastic, manufacturing new bottles from virgin sources is cheaper than recycling. There are many types of glass that must be sorted prior to recycling much like plastic. Unique to glass among the other recyclable materials is the fact that the energy required to recycle glass is GREATER than the amount of energy required to make glass from virgin sources.

    Some states instate a deposit on glass bottles to promote recycling. The reason for this is twofold, first, recycling glass bottles AS IS into new containers (yes, they just wash them) is more energy efficient, and thus economically efficient. Secondly, they know most people don’t claim the deposit, which pays for the wasteful glass recycling program (which uses the broken bottles left after the intact ones are sorted and removed).

    The best thing we can do is reduce our consumption in the first place, either by reusing containers, or buying products that use less packaging such as bulk goods. And garbage men and trucks wont help us do that.

  • This is good info – thanks!

    Do you happen to have anything regarding the effeciency of recycling paper (particularly newsprint)?

  • Recycling newsprint is very energy efficient. Paper does not need to be sorted, and the bleaching required to remove the print is the same process required to remove the natural pigments in wood. Recycled paper requires 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp, mostly because of the energy expended in logging. Once cut it uses the same amount of energy to produce paper from wood or recycled paper. As with plastics, paper can be incinerated, but recycling saves more energy than that which could be generated by incineration. Because recycling paper does not require the substantial labor and infrastructure costs that other materials require, it actually can be cheaper than growing and harvesting trees.

    So if you recycle paper, you are not polluting the air or wasting money. This is why most paper and cardboard you buy says it is made with some percentage of post-consumer paper. They’re just saving money.

  • "I’m sure you and I would not believe the amount of people who don’t understand the irony in your post. For them, it’s "duh, why bother? it’s just gonna end up somewhere nobody wants anyways, right?"

    Well dog gone it, I don`t mind you and Waldo esconced on some high intellectual plane, but I wish you would exlain the irony to we down on the lower levels.

    By the way, what is your estimate of the nmber of people who did not understand the irony?


  • Estimates? Hey, why not! No one’s paying attention anyway:

    20% don’t understand

    +40% don’t *care* to understand

    +30% don’t give a rat’s ass either way, even though they undersatnd

    = 10% or less "get it"

    Oh, and with 9 posts on the subject, with 175 reads at this time, and me having posted twice, I’d say 1:10 may be optimistic.

    Double-Oh: it’s clear, it ain’t getting any cleaner in the area.

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