sustainable refuse disposal system
Most of us live in an area where a
mandatory refuse collection program exists. I have been a reluctant participant
for a quarter century.
There were times of extreme poverty
where it was necessary to discontinue service, with the risk of a lien being
placed on the property.
It was during these times that I
practiced the art of recycling, while mentally addressing the problem of
The collection service is not only
mandatory, it is expensive, and you must pay whether or not you utilize the
No provision is made to collect
refuse which is too large for the containers provided. This results in illegal
dumping on the roadway, undeterred by the threat of a one thousand dollar
I am mildly O.C.D. about nearly everything.
When I couldn’t afford to pay for the service, I challenged myself to make the
service obsolete. I bought an aluminum can crusher. We burned our paper and
composted our organics. Steel cans were lightly rinsed and collected for the
recycler, along with glass and plastic.
With very little effort, I converted
my refuse into cash. I was religious with this process until I was finally,
once again, able to afford the collection service, and I re-enrolled without
Having become accustomed to religious
recycling, I am unable to fill my sixty gallon trash can, let alone the same
sized green waste and recycle containers.
The bill continues to arrive every
other month, whether or not you use the service. There is no extra charge for
the green waste or recycle containers.
So……………..Here’s how it works. The
collection trucks don’t go down every street. In my case, I must transport my
containers nearly two hundred yards to a communal collection area. When I was a
little younger, this wasn’t a real big deal, but as I pass the “three quarters
of a century” mark, it becomes increasingly difficult.
We have become less strict with the
separation of trash, organics, and recyclables, and even then, we rarely
require our containers to be emptied on a weekly basis.
This isn’t fair! I pay the same as
the families that fill their cans to overflowing, every week.
I’ve put a lot of thought into how
to make the service fair and affordable for everyone, especially those who put
forth the effort to reduce waste.
First, you have to understand the
collection process. The collection trucks are equipped with a side mounted fork
lift which grips the container and lifts it and inverts it over the opening of
the truck. The contents are partially visible to the driver, but not in time to
prevent items, illegally dumped, from entering the opening.
Three different trucks are required
on the collection route, one for trash, one for recyclables, and one for
organics. (green waste) There is no way to determine
which household is responsible for the contents of any given container.
We are blessed with technology so advanced, there is no reason NOT to apply some to the
Here is what I propose. First of
all, BAR CODES! There are numerous types of codes, and readers. When a refuse
container is issued to a household, a serialized barcode is registered, and
each time a container is emptied, a transaction is recorded. The transaction
may be a debit or a credit, depending on whether the refuse is trash, or a
commodity. There should be a maximized debit for trash, and a moderate credit
for reusable material, whether it be organics or
recyclables. This would be an incentive to separate our refuse, reducing
landfills, and reducing our overall impact on the environment.
The side mounted forklift could be
equipped with a barcode reader and a scale, which would weigh the can before
and after emptying. This could be automated to prevent incomplete evacuation,
and to calculate debit or credit.
A down side to this is that four
recycle cans would be required, one for metal, glass, plastic, and paper. Folks
that contaminate separated items would be heavily penalized by random
inspection. One in ten containers could be randomly inspected, generating
exceptional incentive to carefully segregate refuse.
Those folks, so much more
mathematically inclined than I, known as “bean counters”, could calculate the
debit/credit ratio to penalize the wasteful, and those, unwilling to exert the
effort to separate re-usable material. In this manner, the conscientious could
be rewarded. The service could be made to pay for itself, including the
acquisition of new equipment. Oversized bulk refuse pickups could be scheduled
and made on the street, and debited to the household account.
Reducing trash and increasing re-useable
is profitable for everyone, and friendly to the planet.
PLEASE RE-USE AND RECYCLE! RESPECT
By law, you can bring up to 50 aluminum, 50 glass, 50
plastic, and 50 bi-metal California Redemption Value (CRV) containers in a
single visit and request to be paid by count. You will be paid the full CRV
redemption of 5 cents or 10 cents on
Are 1 gallon milk jugs
Although non-CRV plastic packaging like milk jugs,
margarine tubs, etc. can be recycled and turned into new products,
these items are not redeemable for CRV. Therefore, it may be difficult to
locate a recycler who will pay for these materials. Contact your local
Recycling Coordinator for options in your area.
Why can't milk jugs be
Plastic jugs are not recycled into new plastic jugs due
to sanitary concerns. Plastic jugs are typically “downcycled”
into materials such as composite lumber. This means virgin plastic is used for
all plastic jugs. Plastic is made from fossil fuels.Sep 27, 2020
How much is a pound of
How much do recycling centers pay per pound for cans and
bottles? Currently, state certified recycling centers pay a minimum of $1.65
CRV for aluminum cans; $1.33 CRV for clear PET plastic bottles;
$0.58 CRV for HDPE plastic bottles (similar to the large water jugs); and $0.10
CRV for glass bottles.
How much can you make
from recycling plastic bottles?
The amount you get paid for recycling plastic bottles
varies depending on a few factors, such as the type of bottle, the size of the
bottle, and where you live. In general, though, you can expect to earn
around $0.05 per bottle. So, if you recycle 100 plastic bottles,
you would earn about $5.00.Jun
What is the recycling symbol for milk jugs?
#1 PET or PETE is commonly used for soda
and water bottles, mouthwash bottles, etc. and is widely recyclable. GreenWaste Recovery accepts these items for recycling in
your curbside program. #2 HDPE or PE-HD comes in many colors
and is used for containers like milk and juice jugs, laundry detergent and
What recycling pays
Scrap Metal. The final and most profitable material on our “best
items to recycle for money” list is scrap metal. You
may already be aware of this if you've ever visited a scrap yard for cars or
other types of scrap facilities.