Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Nashville to pay more to maintain recycling once a month

by Rod Williams- So much for Nashville cutting wasteful spending to avoid a tax increase.

At one time recycling saved the city money.  The waste diverted from the landfill combined with the income from the sale of recyclables was a net plus for the city.  No more. Instead of saving the city money, recycling now cost the city money. A little over a year ago, China which was the world's largest purchaser of recycled material, stopped accepting and the prices paid for recyclables plummeted. It is hard to give it away and a lot of what is put in the recycle bin ends up landfilled anyway. It is hard to even give away recyclables unless they are very clean and not contaminated by waste or material that is not recyclable. Now, to continue recycling, the process will be very costly for the city.

The city was being faced the decision to renew a contract with Waste Management for processing the recyclables.  Then terms of the new 5-year contract required Metro to  pay up to $1.7 million more annually in higher processing fees and pay Waste Management an immediate "owed" payment of $1 million. The new contract changes the split form the sale of recyclables from 50/50 to 70/30, so if the market should turn around the city could recoup some of the money paid to Waste Management, but that is very unlikely to happened. Tuesday night the Council voted to approve the new contract.  The only three councilmen voting against the deal were Steve Glover, Zach Young and Russ Bradford.

For more on the story follow this link.

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1 comment:

  1. $1.7 million MORE? As much as I like recycling, I would have found it hard to vote for this in our current dire straits. I remember when curbside recycling started in Nashville with blue, uncovered bins and I think it might have been limited to paper and cardboard. Maybe we should (too late now with a 5 year contract, I guess) switch from recyclable collection to compostable collection. That could keep everything local. I can't imagine how much it would cost to send trash to China.