Recycling trash? It doesn't pay at all as advertised; it's just another form of religion - Granite Grok

Recycling trash? It doesn’t pay at all as advertised; it’s just another form of religion

Scott Dunn’s monument to economic illiteracy (the Gilford Recycling Center) will lose close to $7million over the next 10 years.

It was a fevered pitch that recycling was the way forward and the Progressives that are the majority voted to approve the two Petition warrants totaling $1.4 million agreed with him with Tom Chase saying that there will always be a market for recycling after Dunn repeatedly said there IS a market for recycling. That’s “get down on your knees” religion because the facts don’t bear them out to the point of making our RC actually even break even.

As Dover is now finding out. From Fosters Daily Democrat, (heavily reformatted and emphasis mine):

…City Councilor John O’Connor believes the proposed bag increases “will be a sticker shock to a lot of the residents,” but added it may encourage them to recycle more.

Indeed it will but recycling for what is peanuts isn’t worth the effort as I just found out myself.

In terms of the city’s new recycling contract, it alone is estimated to increase by more than $600,000, Storer said, from $618,159 for fiscal year 2020 to the new estimated Waste Management contract for FY21 of $1.2 million. “We’re essentially doubling the budget,” Storer said. The increase in the city’s recycling budget alone could cost the owner of a $336,000 house in Dover, the average price in the city, an extra $57, Storer said.

Yep, I have heard that recycling was always going to pay for itself…there will always be a market to make money from…we have to just stick to The Plan.

Well, when The Plan ain’t working, when conditions change radically when the market says that prices offered can’t support your “business, you go under. Except in this case (and all over, for the most part), when politicians WANT something to succeed, and the money isn’t coming in from elsewhere, it WILL come from the only source they actually control – your taxes.

After all, how many times do you hear bureaucrats and politicians say “well, it’s a failure – we have to do something else”?

…The cost of recycling programs is increasing not because costs are going up, Storer said, but because the “value of the commodities” being recycled are dropping dramatically.


…“A year ago, aluminum, you could get $1,100, $1,000 for a bundled ton, it’s now down to $400 to $500 a ton,” Storer said. Likewise recyclers could expect to get more than $400 a ton for corrugated cardboard a year to 18 months ago, now it’s down to $35 to $40 a ton, he said.

The value of those commodities is what’s used to offset the cost of recycling, Storer said.

Ah, so we now see the nail for the horseshoe that found the horse wanting! And now, instead of saying that trying to recycle isn’t working, they’re doubling down to save The Plan:

The city expects to pay about $1 million more for its solid waste and recycling programs when its contract with its current vendor runs out on June 30.

That could result in an increase to residents’ property tax bills and a substantial hike in the cost of bags they pay for as part of Dover’s Pay as You Throw Program, according to John Storer, the city’s Community Services Director. “Solid waste, we’re looking at an increase of about $400,000, and recycling going up as much as $600,000,” Storer told councilors at a recent City Council workshop.

Ah, see that tidbit in there? Which cost is rising MORE? Wouldn’t it just make more sense to categorize everything as trash and save the taxpayers money?  Oh, but that would be a Mortal Sin against GAIA! Earth Day acolytes have told me that for years!

Sure thing, pal – wanna pay my part of the indulgence? You’ll be doubly blessed – just let me rot with the other sinners and you can put on your double wide halo for all to see. Because, one way or another, it’s coming:

The committee and staff suggested the best way to make up the roughly $400,000 difference between the city’s current solid waste program and its new one is to hike the cost of bags. That would mean the cost of 15-gallon bags would increase from $1.45 to $1.80, the cost of 30-gallon bags would increase from $2.15 to $3 and bulky waste tags would increase from $5 to $10 each, Storer said.

The city’s Finance Department suggested even larger hikes for bags because the cost of Waste Management’s solid waste program is slated to increase over the course of its five-year term, Storer said. Finance suggested increasing the cost of 15-gallon bags to $1.95 and 30-gallon bags to $3.15, Storer said. This proposal would also maintain the solid waste program’s fund balance at about $250,000 over the five-year term of the contract.

Everything is from the viewpoint of The Plan and The Budget for the Plan. Taxpayers, just fork it over.

What I never seem to see in these kinds of articles (and they are becoming more and more prevalent) is the Opportunity Cost costs foisted on the poor citizen. Nothing is ever said about the room needed for each kind of mandatory recycling category. Nothing is ever said about the materials that have to be bought to hold the trash bags in between pickups. And nothing is EVER said about the time Individuals have to spend to figure out what goes where what has to be pre-washed and what doesn’t.

Time. The most expensive commodity a person owns because there is only so much of it. I know here in Gilford when I brought it up it was dismissed summarily with a wave of a hand and “you’ll get used to it”. Any person that believes they are still Free should immediately take umbrage at the time involuntarily taken from them. Sure, it might only be a “short time” but isn’t that YOUR time and not some Selectman or Councilor to take from you in support of THEIR Plan?

Here’s an example. For all the railing I’ve been doing about being forced into this, I ended up with a whole bunch of cardboard – mostly from the Grandson’s new toy sets.

Sidenote: the bane of my existence now – all those “security pins and screws” – it takes forEVAH to figure out where that “last one” is as you’re trying to yank the toy away from the cardboard when you thought you were already done.

I gathered it all up – maybe about 5 pounds – and put it into the truck. At the above rate of $35 to $40 a ton, that comes out to 10 cents. Figure 8 miles one way.

Sidenote: how cute that the Selectmen have renamed it as 100 Recycle Way.  100% compliance, maybe? So new it isn’t even in Mapquest so my mileage is estimated.

Round trip at 58 cents / mile: $9.28 (that $482.56 / year just for truck expense). My time just for transport is 15-20 minutes one way + time at the dump. There is a price attached to that as well. Let’s keep it simple at 1 hour total and with minimum wage – $16.53 for a total. For 52 weeks: $859.56.

That’s on top of the coupla hundred dollars/year in current and new taxes to pay for this place.  So we’re talking over a grand for a mandatory self-work, self-sort, self-serve, and self-delivery of a boondoggle. My old trash guy shut down. The replacement is going to cost me 1/3 more – $410/year.

Curb pickup. Just throw the trash into the bag and once a week, cans to the end of the driveway.  Look at all the time I’ll save! Or not – same time, just more to haul it.

But once again, private sector convenience that Government can’t match. Can’t match the price, either, even after Government is forcing “invisible” costs upon you in order to make the Plan look better for Gilford.  If people were to all quantify the actual costs that have been fobbed off on them by Scott Dunn, they’d be bearing torches and tar/feathers.

But the Selectmen have allowed him to get away with it.