Q: [A recent Gabber] article says what the city receives for aluminum cans and other recycling material, but does not show what it took in last year as revenues and what it costs! My guess is that residents are paying quite a high price for the privilege of saying "we recycle". A balanced editorial piece would be appreciated!
A: We asked Don Sopak, the city's Public Works Director, for some numbers. He told us that last fiscal year (2011-2012) the city collected $188,752; this included "a recycling grant, recycling sales, and recycling charges to households and businesses," Sopak said.
That same year, the program cost $165,277. This included truck costs, fuel, repairs, insurance, employee salaries, replacement bins and administrative costs, bringing the program's profit to $23,525 for last fiscal year.
Sopak also added that the program "eliminated 471 tons of recyclables from the solid waste stream," and saved the city disposal fees of $17,662.