Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Recycling Pessimism

The just released IBO report on recycling makes for depressing reading. Put simply, the cost of recycling, around $206 per ton, is so high that it is more cost-effective to simply through the garbage out. Have no fear, however, help is here-in the form of the city's new office of recycling.

This new office, a product of the mayoral-speaker political union, is looking to ramp up recycling rates through intensive educational out-reach efforts. If the city remains unable to increase capture rates, the wastefulness of this romantic throwback to the euphoria of earth day will continue to bleed tax payer dollars.

Our money is definitely on the Office's continued failure to increase the amount of recyclables necessary to make this program even somewhat fiscally prudent. In the end, we believe that the only hope to really ramp up the recycling rates in town will devolve from a prudent expansion of the state's bottle law, something that we have been advocating for the past twenty years. In addition, the introduction of food waste disposers would jack up commercial recycling to record levels, but the measure would actually aid the private sector so it remains an anathema to elected officials.