This fiscal year, Philadelphia taxpayers are expected to pay $9 million for Waste Management to haul their recyclables. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, that is almost double what the city was paying just a few years ago.
The city is under a five-year contract with Waste Management to provide recycling services, in which plastics, cardboard, glass, paper and metals are sorted and baled for resale or reuse. City officials believe the recycling stream is getting cleaner, thanks to more educated residents. But, the report notes that the city’s contamination level remains “way too high.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer has more:
Last year started out poorly for recycling in Philadelphia as the city sent half its recycling to incinerators while it brokered a deal with Waste Management that took effect last June. This year, widespread incineration has stopped, but taxpayers will be coughing up millions more to handle the waste few haulers want to deal with anymore.
In fact, the city is now paying about $106 a ton to dispose of its recycling, up from $78 a ton this time last year, said Scott McGrath, the city’s environmental planner. Two years ago, the city was paying only $5 a ton, still far from the days when recycling was actually a money maker.