By Michael Corkery of The NY Times. In one of my classes, we are reading the chapter on recycling in The Economics of Public Issues. So I thought this recent NY Times article would be relevant. Excerpts:
"Philadelphia is now burning about half of its 1.5 million residents’ recycling material in an incinerator that converts waste to energy. In Memphis, the international airport still has recycling bins around the terminals, but every collected can, bottle and newspaper is sent to a landfill. And last month, officials in the central Florida city of Deltona faced the reality that, despite their best efforts to recycle, their curbside program was not working and suspended it.
Those are just three of the hundreds of towns and cities across the country that have canceled recycling programs, limited the types of material they accepted or agreed to huge price increases."
"China, which until January 2018 had been a big buyer of recyclable material collected in the United States. That stopped when Chinese officials determined that too much trash was mixed in with recyclable materials like cardboard and certain plastics."
"recycling companies are . . . charging cities more, in some cases four times what they charged last year."
"many waste companies had historically viewed recycling as a “loss leader,” offering the service largely to win over a municipality’s garbage business."
"While there remains a viable market in the United States for scrap like soda bottles and cardboard, it is not large enough to soak up all of the plastics and paper that Americans try to recycle. The recycling companies say they cannot depend on selling used plastic and paper at prices that cover their processing costs"