The Real Cost of Recycling

11 January 2022

Another trick you need to be aware of when considering single stream recycling. Cost of recycling equals total costs (trucks, fuel, maintenance, employee salaries, workers comps, etc.) divided by recyclables collected.

The volume collected can be huge, AND it can be a huge mess of garbage. Just because an item gets “collected” does not mean it gets recycled. Recycled means it gets made into a new product that re- enters the market place. Was there actually a market for all the collected items in your recycling program?

If you want to know the real cost of your recycling program, you must know how much of the collected volume was actually used to make new products, and how much of the collected volume was garbage, what it cost to dispose of that contaminated mess, etc.

Yep, there’s more to this recycling stuff than you might have thought.

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