City of Saginaw, Michigan

Costs are up. Curbside recycling service costs have significantly increased in recent years. Some communities have stopped recycling or reduced the types of recyclables allowed in the bin.

WHY HAVE COSTS INCREASED? For many years recyclable materials have been exported to China to be processed and made into new goods. However, the quality of exported recyclables was poor because of the large amount of non-recyclable items contained in the shipments. These non-recyclable items are considered contamination and excessively high levels of contamination over many years caused China to impose strict quality standards and reject contaminated shipments. These actions have had a major impact as global supplies and demand adjust.

THE DEMAND FOR CLEANER PRODUCT DRIVES MATERIAL PROCESSING COSTS HIGHER. HERE'S WHY. To meet the requirements for cleaner shipments of recyclables, the material sorting facilities must become more attentive and accurate in the removal of contaminants. Since material sorting occurs both by human hands and machines, sorting facilities have added more sorting staff, slowed the sorting lines, and invested in equipment upgrades and new sorting technology.

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