Why “good” recycling costs more (and Front Royal residents will be paying more)

Virginia

Republic Services estimates about one-third of the 500 to 600 tons it receives per day are considered contamination, like plastic grocery bags, glass, and paper milk cartons.

MANASSAS, Va. (WDVM) —Earlier this month, Front Royal Town Council voted to keep its recycling program around, and take its services to Republic Services recycling in Manassas. The change will cost residents an additional 85 cents per household.

Republic Services estimates about one-third of the 500 to 600 tons it receives per day are considered contamination, like plastic grocery bags, glass, and paper milk cartons. Sales Manager Carson Robinson says even sofas and mattresses come off the trash trucks from time to time.

Robinson says residents pay more because the company recycles “the right way.” Republic Services hires people and purchases special equipment, called “spotters,” to control the flow of trash and target contaminants before they’re processed with the rest of the trash.

Republic Services has cameras installed in its docks to keep an eye on which trucks are delivering contaminants. Representatives from the company do outreach and education in those communities to reduce the number of contaminants it receives.

“We want less to go into the landfills and more to be recycled as best we can and that’s not us, that’s the world,” said Robinson. “We need to leave the world in a better place than we found it in.”

Costs have also gone up for the company as processing prices have changed and China sanctioned what kind of trash it will accept from the United States.

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