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Recycled material value can affect your garbage bill
The cat food container you just washed and flattened and the recycled paper you bought are making a difference in your monthly garbage bill. The value of recycled materials can make a difference in the amount you pay for curbside garbage and recycling pick up.
The UTC requires its regulated garbage and recycling companies to track the proceeds from their sales of recycled materials collected from residential areas. These amounts are taken into consideration when a company's rates are adjusted.
Many companies include a recycling credit on their residential customer bills to make it even easier for customers to track the changes. Rates and credits vary between companies, but generally a credit can reduce the total monthly garbage and recycling bill paid by a one-can per week customer by 10 percent or more.
The UTC routinely receives questions from customers as to what happens to recycled materials. Some customers believe that recycling pays for itself. But that's not the case for residential recycling. The cost of collecting from your curb, transporting, processing and selling recycled materials can cost between $4 to $5 a month per residential customer.
A factor in the cost is how well consumers prepare their recycled materials. Rinsing out containers and removing labels can improve the quality and ultimately the value of the recycled materials.
As more people demand goods that are made from recycled products and as manufacturers learn to find more uses for recycled materials, prices for recycled materials may increase high enough to cover the cost of collection and processing. But of course, even if it never does, you still benefit from recycling. By buying less, reusing more and recycling, you reduce the flow of garbage into a landfill or disposal facility. In the long run, this saves everyone money.
Most counties and cities require all residential garbage customers to pay for curbside recycling service even if they do not use it. Local governments decide what is recycled. These decisions are made through a solid waste management plan approved by local governing officials. Some programs require all materials be separated; others do not. For questions or comments about the design of your recycling program, simply contact your city or county solid waste division.
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