PTC sacks plastic recycling

Mon, 12/29/2008 - 2:50pm
By: The Citizen

Hauler withdraws free service, offers to continue at cost

Plastic recycling is going the way of the dinosaur in Peachtree City.

The city was recently notified that its plastics hauler was going to cease its free pickup service, said Director of Public Works Tom Corbett.

The city was offered the chance to pay for the full cost of the service, but that was ruled out quickly without even asking the price due to the current fiscal issues facing the city, Corbett said.

The city did convince the hauler to continue the service a few more weeks so the change wasn’t a surprise to residents, Corbett said. City officials also called around to other haulers but were unsuccessful in getting anyone to pick up the plastic for free, he added.

That means Wednesday is the last day to dump plastic recyclables at the city recycling center and Friday is the last day they’ll be accepted at the public works department’s receptacles.

The change is another victim of the bad economy, as demand for recyclables almost across the board is way down, Corbett said. That’s because demand has slipped for “virgin” products that aren’t made with recycling, Corbett explained.

The decision to sack plastic recycling has not been popular and some residents have called public works to complain, Corbett said.

His advice to them? Well, it’s really the only option left.

“If you can’t recycle it, it goes in the garbage,” Corbett said.

Previously the hauling company made a small profit by hauling the plastic recyclables away and selling them for recycling, he said. But that profit has faded away, and it’s not just in plastics, Corbett added: cardboard is down from about $80 a ton to about $5 a ton.

Even the recycling slowdown is tied to the global economy, as normally one-third of the U.S. recyclables were sold overseas to China in recent years but that also has drastically tapered off.

The one recycling bright spot is newsprint because it can always be recycled into more newsprint, kleenex, toilet tissue and other products, Corbett said.

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Hoosier Fan's picture
Submitted by Hoosier Fan on Wed, 12/31/2008 - 8:26am.

It's unfortunate that during a time of increased environmental awareness, recycling options are decreasing in our community. However, it appears the numbers don't make it viable.

Based on my observations, PTC residents have supported the voluntary recycling options and I'd like to think it has reduced littering and landfill waste. You don't have to be a hard-core "tree hugger" to be a good steward. Maybe Georgia needs to consider charging a redemption value on bottles and cans like some other states in an effort to encourage and fund recycling options.

Submitted by PTC32YEARS on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 7:44am.

Does anyone know of other locations to drop off plastics?

The economy is to blame. I am in injection molding and virgin material is .35-.40 less than recycled material right now.

gratefuldoc's picture
Submitted by gratefuldoc on Wed, 12/31/2008 - 12:10pm.

for years I have been going to the Fayetteville "dump" recycling center on First Manassas Mile/Bradford Square by Spring Hill E.S./fayette Middle. There is rarely a wait and plenty of bins for all your recycling. And, these days you don't even have to separate.

"Picture a bright blue ball
Just spinning, spinning free
Dizzy with eternity
Paint it with a skin of sky
Brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home for you and me
A peaceful place or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face
But afraid, we may lay our home to waste"

"once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right"
"listen to the thunder shouting, "I AM, I AM, I AM"

;>} Have a grateful day ;>}

Submitted by rmoc on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 9:13am.

There is a plastic bottle recycling bin behind the Kroger at Braelinn. They also have cardboard, magazine, cans and telephone book recycling.
I use Cardinal Sanitation who supply us with a full size can for recycling with our weekly pick up. You would be surprised at how much stuff goes in the recycle bin, we actually have more in that can than our regular bin.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 10:25pm.

Mea culpa.

The plastics bin behind Braelinn Kroger will be removed on or before 1/6/08. To the best of my knowledge, the only options at this point are the private haulers, such as Cardinal and CLM -- both of whom bring their materials my way.

Sadly, due to market conditions, the cost of pickup and processing was nearing $300 per ton while the sellable value of the materials dropped down to $50 per ton. Commodities such as cardboard, newsprint, metals and plastics have devalued by as much as 80% in the past sixty days.

Imagine your revenue being depleted by 80% while retaining the same volume and costs. The industry is truly in uncharted waters.


Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Wed, 12/31/2008 - 9:20am.

The only reason to "recycle" is that there isn't any new stuff to have! This is the USA!

It is a quandary for the conserves: they don't want the government to mandate recycling, but they want to get the votes the green people have!
Only way industry wants garbage is that there is no more raw material or new is too expensive!

It is all very logical.

Submitted by UrKidding on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 10:57pm.

So I've been against this effort since the mayor ask for it! If we had a single provider would this not mean an increase in cost to us if we had a single provider? The city can't keep a volunteer program so how would we pay for this change in economic times? We would pay more to the single provider! And they would tell us too because the city didn't read the fine print.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 10:26pm.

The contractor would have petitioned the city, claiming a need to raise rates or the company would fold. Your rates would have gone up and up.

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