Matters of Scale - The Money in Recycling

bullet
Average price an American community could get for 1 ton of used newspapers collected for recycling in early 1994
2
Average price it could get in early 1995*
44
bullet
"Stop acting like garbage men!" -New York state Recycling official William Ferretti, advising waste haulers to recognize that their once-disparaged disposal service has turned into a hot business opportunity.
bullet
Average price an American community could get for 1 ton of used corrugated cardboard boxes in early 1994
14
Average price it could get in early 1995*
70
bullet
"It's time we stopped turning up our noses at the nation's garbage dumps and started appreciating them for what they really are - the municipal mines, forests, oil wells and energy sources of the future." -Max Spendlove, quoted in National Civic Review, paraphrasing a statement in Jane Jacobs' The Economy of Cities (1969).
bullet
Average price an American community could get for one ton of HDPE (High density polyethylene) plastic collected for recycling in early 1992
20
Average price it could get in early 1995*
82
bullet
"The thing I want to emphasize is the vast difference between recycling for the purpose of feeling good and recycling for the purpose of solving the trash problem." -Barry Commoner in Orion Nature Quarterly, Winter 1990
bullet
Average amount it cost the city of Seattle, Washington to dispose of a ton of nonrecyclable municipal waste in April, 1995
105
Average amount it cost the city to collect and process a ton of recyclables
28
bullet
Sources: Prices of paper, cardboard, and plastic from Recycling Times; Prices of disposal in Seattle from City of Seattle, personal communication; "garbage men" quote, personal communication from William Ferretti. Compiled by John Young.