Recycling in Brattleboro continues in volatile market

This article by Chris Mays originally appeared June 12 in the Brattleboro Reformer.

BRATTLEBORO — Recycling is still happening around here.

“There was a concern that, particularly after shifting to single stream and in general, because we all know that the markets for recycling have become volatile, that maybe some of that recycling stream was also being diverted into garbage,” Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell said during Tuesday’s Select Board meeting. “Based on the information that we’ve received from Casella [Waste Systems Inc.], who is the processor of our recycling, that’s actually not the case.”

Public domain

Vermont newspapers and coupon inserts

Through the town’s residential curbside collection program, Elwell reported cardboard is shipped domestically to mills that make new cardboard boxes. He said mixed paper is shipped domestically to a plant that makes pulp to be remade into items no longer recognizable as paper, then it is shipped overseas.

“Newsprint is shipped domestically and overseas depending on the market at the moment, when they’re sending off a shipment of it,” he said. “The reason why it sometimes goes so far away is because overseas, people are still reading newspapers and in the United States, not so much. So there isn’t as much of a market. The newsprint when it gets recycled gets recycled into new newsprint and there isn’t as much of a market for rebuying newsprint in the United States.”

Read full article at the Brattleboro Reformer.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Public domain

3 thoughts on “Recycling in Brattleboro continues in volatile market

  1. I knew recycling was over when they went to single stream, meaning everything mixed together, and some magic machine sorting them all out down the line.
    Back in the last millennium, we had a dump, and it all went there, to be buried. Some people took the initiative to build a recycling station at the dump, and most people were enthusiastic about separating papers, cardboard, plastics, glass of different colors, aluminum and steel, etc.
    These were actually recyclable, but the process became so efficient, that there was no market for most of the materials, and it stopped happening.
    Corrugated cardboard is now the only material to be separated from the trash.
    At least trash-to-energy will reduce the pile, and leave metals behind for recycling. But this is barely progress!
    Before then, there were pig farms, and that was where garbage was recycled. But they stank, and lived on valuable real estate, so no organic garbage digesters anymore.
    Now we just ship it to China. What happens after that?

  2. Recycling was always nothing more then an alternative to waste-to-energy plants, because you know, Vermont is smarter then everyone else in the nation. It had to eventually run up against a wall, and now the liberals think banning plastic bags that people reuse is going to fix it. It won’t. Ever.

    The only solution is to require a 70% reduction in plastic packaging over the next ten years, and get a plastic to oil plant here in Vermont. Of course these efforts take thought, and we don’t have people in Montpelier capable of that.

  3. What ever happened to using glass in asphalt? I thought that was suppose
    to make roads more durable? Since our roads are bad a year after their done
    maybe mandate glass use. If no one else is buying it it should be cheaper then
    mineral aggregate used. Of course thinking out of the box is unheard of in
    this current state (since the 60’s).

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