By Paul Ploumis 26 Sep 2015 Last updated at 10:54:48 GMT
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -Prices for recycled goods have recently plummeted, but officials said there’s a way people can help.
Jim Parrish said he has been recycling for years to help the environment.
“I know it fills up the dump, the waste areas,” Parrish said. “We shouldn’t put paper or plastic in a landfill when we have a recycling facility.”
Keeping recyclables out of the waste stream and landfills was once a break-even, if not profitable proposition.
These days, that has changed. The market for recycled paper, cardboard and plastic is down.
Revenues fluctuate,” said Sharon Smith with Metro Beautification. “Right now, they have fluctuated down.”
Smith oversees Metro’s recycling education program. She said around 2011, Metro started to see a decline in the value of recycled materials.
EarthSavers, a middle Tennessee recycling company, recently told customers, “Recycling processors used to pay us for paper, plastic and cans. Now they don’t.” To offset the loss, EarthSavers is charging customers $3 more a month for pick-ups.
Lots of factors are involved. The waste stream has changed. People throw away less paper because they are reading more online. There is also more e-waste, and plastic bottles and cans are thinner and lighter.
Another problem is large curbside bins. People contaminate the waste stream when they throw away items that are not recyclable.
The waste gets bundled and a whole bundle might be rejected, costing the city and private companies money.
But Smith said people shouldn’t give up.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” she said. “Do our best to not put contaminations in the cars and keep recycling.”
Even though the value of recycled items is down, recycling still saves the government money on landfill costs.
Courtesy : www.wsmv.com