-A low international demand for recyclable materials has caused the Larimer County Landfill in Fort Collins, CO to charge Gallegos Sanitation Inc. hauling company a fee for dumping recyclables. As a result, GSI has asked the permission of Fort Collins officials to charge customers a temporary fee for curbside recycling, in order to offset the costs it pays for using the recycling center.
-Fort Collins has a pay-as-you-throw system of waste collection, in which residents pay a fee depending upon the size of the garbage can they use for curbside pick-up. In the current system, waste haulers must pick up the recyclables for free.
-Since the recycling center began charging to dump recyclables in January, GSI has paid more than $300,000 in tipping fees through June. GSI estimates that the potential recycling cost recovery fee would be about $2.14 per customer.
“As long as there is a deficit between processing fees and the value of the material being collected, there will likely be a tip fee passed along,” said Isha Cogborn, a spokeswoman from Waste Management, which operates the recycling center.
Due to issues like this across the industry, some big companies are already adjusting their pricing. Casella Waste Systems recently added a sustainability/recycling adjustment fee to the bills of residential customers, just as Waste Management is adjusting fees for waste haulers in Fort Collins. But, after all, Waste Management’s CEO recently called recycling a national crisis.
Others in the recycling industry say such arguments are bluster, and that money can be made in recycling without charging extra fees.