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Recycling Earns Money For Your County

In Howard County, Maryland, the county has decided to give out over 71,000 recycling bins to the residents. The size of your home will dictate the size of the bin you’ll be receiving. Single family homes will receive a 65-gallon wheeled cart, townhomes with a garage will get a 35 gallon bin, and townhomes without a garage (like mine) will receive an 18 gallon bin.

Giving out these recycling bins has been proven, in earlier testing, to increase recycling when coupled with “one binning,” that’s my term for when you can mix all types of recycling in one bin. The official term appears to be “single-stream recycling” but “one binning” sounds so much better, don’t you think?

Anyway, here’s the stat that blows my mind… it costs our county $33 per ton to dispose of trash, a negotiated fee that is secured under contract until 2013. Our County Executive estimates that the price could double or triple when our county renegotiates, a fact that makes this next stat even more poignant. Our county receives $54 per ton of recycling. That’s right, the county earns money on recycling.

That’s an $87 swing per ton for something that we should be doing because it’s better for the environment.

For every ton of recycling Howard County recycles, that’s more money in the county coffers which, hopefully, means taxes will stand pat or perhaps go down. At a time when property values are going down and property tax revenues are dwindling, it’s a good idea to help your county out so they don’t help themselves to higher taxes. 🙂

(Photo: mukluk [3])