Jill Buck is the Founder and Executive Director of the Go Green Initiative and is also the owner of Buck Consulting. Jill lives with her family in Pleasanton, California. Full Bio
By: Jill Buck
Recycling is economically possible because there is a market for recyclable goods. However, a good deal of that market demand comes from Asia, and with the recent global economic downturn, recycling markets have become incredibly volatile and unpredictable, causing instability in our domestic recycling efforts. Recyclers are stockpiling recyclable materials in hopes of an upturn in the market, but if that doesn't occur, how long before our recyclables end up in landfills?
Even if you are an eco-Grinch who maliciously throws your cans and bottles in your garbage just to be a pill, the fact is that our landfills simply cannot hold the recyclables that will go into them if the market for these commodities evaporates. And that's every taxpayers problem.
The more we throw away, the more space we take up in landfills. When a landfill becomes a "landfull", taxpayers have to build a new one. The less we throw away, the longer our landfills will last. The amount of taxpayer money we save by extending the longevity of our landfills is an important community benefit.
In addition, because there are people who purchase recyclables, that also means that somebody gets paid to collect those recyclables. In many cases, that ‘somebody' is your local waste hauler, and the money collected on recyclables can be used to offset your garbage rate. Catchin' my drift? Recycling can be very beneficial to communities and individual taxpayers...but ONLY if there is somebody buying the material. And right now, we can't be sure Asian markets will hold.
On my radio show tomorrow, I'll be talking with three Californians involved in this crisis to get their perspective on what is happening, and what the ramifications to residents may be. We'll talk about the economic and public policy angles to the issue, and what we may expect to come from an emergency workshop on December 10th in Sacramento, led by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. I'll be interviewing Steve Moore, President of Pacific Rim Recycling; Paul Morsen, Executive Director of the Central Costa County Solid Authority; and Mark Leary, Executive Director of the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
Listen in to find out what professionals in the recycling industry are doing to maintain our commitment to recycling, and protect taxpayers from the need to pay for more landfill space. Tune in at 9 a.m. Pacific, noon Eastern on your #1 Internet Talk Radio Station, http://www.voiceamerica.com/. (If you are busy during that timeframe, don't sweat it. The podcast will be up within a couple of hours of the show's air time at this link: http://www.modavox.com/voiceamericacms/WebModules/HostModaview.aspx?HostId=519&ChannelId=1&Flag=1)