Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Does It Truly Cost to Recycle?

I always wonder how costly is it to start a recycling program in the local community? It is important, especially for small towns, to decide whether or not it will be economically sustainable to begin a recycling program.

Costs of a Recycling Program

The costs involved in creating a recycling program fall into two categories.

(1) Around 2/3 of the cost associated is allocated to the collection of garbage from the community. There are multiple options available like using city owned trucks picking up the garbage from homes, to self dropping off at the collection center.

(2) The other 1/3 of the cost is associated with the processing of the material which is to be recycled. This can be very costly if a town chooses to create a processing facility solely for their use. The cost of this aspect can be reduced by using a centralized processing facility which is shared with nearby towns or the local population which would also be using the facility.

Spread of Recycling

As the technology associated with recycling programs becomes more affordable and available to smaller populations, more and more towns are turning to recycling as a solution for their waste disposal. This trend is anticipated to continue as technology advances. Soon it may be possible to create cost effective recycling programs in even smaller communities in order to spread the responsibility out from the central municipal power.

Long Term Benefits of Recycling

Towns that institute recycling programs will not only reap the environmental rewards of their efforts; it is possible that a town will be able to bring in a small amount of money above the operating costs of the program that they have created once the initial costs of creation have been paid off.

With the current technology it is not feasible for the most part to make a large profit margin off of the value of a recycling program, however as technology advances and becomes less costly, new opportunities could very arise down the road.

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