Poor economy has impact on area recycling efforts

(April 18, 2014) Recycling revenue dropped dramatically for Worcester County in fiscal year 2013, rebounded this fiscal year and is expected to drop just slightly in the coming fiscal year. During the same time period, the amount of recyclables remained about the same.

“It’s the economy, period,” Ron Taylor, the county’s recycling manager, told the Worcester County Commissioners during their April 8 budget work session.

In fiscal year 2013, recycling revenue was $303,000 and in the current fiscal year it is expected to be $225,000. For fiscal year 2015, $222,000 is estimated.

Corrugated cardboard revenue has held steady at $100,000 in all three budget years, but revenue from metal fell from $65,000 in fiscal year 2013 to an estimated $50,000 this fiscal year. That revenue is expected to drop to $40,000 in fiscal year 2015.

Revenue from aluminum and bi-metal cans dropped from $47,000 in fiscal year 2014 to an estimated $20,000 this fiscal year. The forecast for fiscal year 2015 rebounds to $30,000.

Paper revenue was $84,000 in fiscal year 2013 and is anticipated to be just $50,000 this fiscal year and next fiscal year. Revenue from plastics dropped from $7,000 in fiscal year 2013 and is expected to drop to $5,000 this fiscal year and to just $2,000 for next fiscal year.

The county opened its recycling processing center in 2004. There, it processes and markets mixed paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and cans. It sells the items to various markets throughout the region.

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