An article in the Washington Post suggests that state and the country as a whole need to consider the costs of recycling and figure out a sustainable model going forward. As described in the article,
Once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, recycling in recent years has become a money-sucking enterprise. The District, Baltimore and many counties in between are contributing millions annually to prop up one of the nation’s busiest facilities here in Elkridge, Md. — but it is still losing money. In fact, almost every facility like it in the country is running in the red. And Waste Management and other recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around.
The article looks at various factors in the recycling dynamic, including citizen behavior and attitudes towards recycling, the re-sale value of recycled goods, and the costs of recycling technologies. Each of these factors, it suggests, are part of the reason why local government costs are increasing and nationwide recycling rates are not.
For more information, see the full story in the Washington Post and our recent post, MACo Testifies Before Senate Committee on Beverage Deposit Legislation.