Question of the Day: Do You Recycle?

It’s been a while since I have posted a question of the day. Here’s the latest:

Do you recycle? If so, do you have to pay for it and how much?

When we first bought our house in 1999, our city offered curbside recycling as part of our normal trash service until they ended the program a year or so after we bought our house. Then, last spring, I started seeing Waste Management’s green and yellow bins out by the curbs of some of my neighbors. So, I called my city and asked them if there was a recycling program. She gave me the number to Waste Management and I called and set up an account.

I have to pay roughly $10 per month and Waste Management will pick up aluminum, plastic, paper, and cardboard every other week. Recycling has cut down quite a bit on what goes into our trash cans, which is a good thing.

So, yes, we do recycle. What about you?

18 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Do You Recycle?”

  1. That sucks to have to pay to recycle stuff that way. I have had single stream pickup of the bucket since I moved in 3 years ago. I have not been very diligent about using it to full potential. Now this week they are supposed to be supplying new trash and recycling cans, the 65 gallon recycling can should be nice and I will try to use it more. They will now accept everything in once, cardboard, paper, glass, aluminum and plastics.

    No additional costs to me, so included in whatever costs I already pay for water and utilities.

  2. Yes! If I pay for it, it’s bundled into my local taxes so that I don’t notice. 🙂 We have an everything-in-one sort of pick-up weekly. It’s pretty fabulous. Now if only they’d start doing the natural waste like they do out where I have family in San Francisco.

  3. ours is about $14/month – includes all trash, a big tub for all recycling (mixed), as well as yard waste pickup. well worth it, and we recycle a ton.

    it is crazy to go to relatives/friends/etc and see how much they don’t recycle, because they don’t have a curb-side pickup available.

  4. We have a massive 40-50 gallon recycling container, with pickup on our street every other week. No need to separate: glass, metal, cardboard, plastic — everything goes into the big container. We usually have it pretty full on pick-up day.

    We don’t pay directly for the service, but I’m sure the city is making me pay for it one way or another…

  5. No, we don’t recycle any household trash.

    Never have, never will… although my town charges me about $10 a month for recycling– to make the city council feel good about themselves

    Standard curbside Recycling is a huge economic waste; all municipal curbside recycling programs in America lose money — it just doesn’t pay to recycle trash. Aluminum cans are about the only item worth recycling ($$), and private firms will gladly pay ‘you’ for them.

    Modern landfills are a much better destination for all trash… both economically and environmentally.

    Supposed benefits of recycling are total myth… but persist due to endless propaganda from the media & schools.

  6. We used to leave in boston with single stream recycling. Everything in one bin, which made it easy. We recycled almost everything. Now we have to separate things in our new home, which is okay, but they make the paper recycling more of a pain. No extra cost in either location. I would go with single stream recycling anyday. I am surprised it does not pay for itself.

  7. I would recycle if it was free, but I won’t pay for it…I’m too cheap. I DO “rePURPOSE” stuff in our house, though, and try to limit what we throw away. We find a second use for almost everything!

  8. I am a recycling ZEALOT! Are you surprised?!
    Even when we were in our non-recycling apt complex in 1990 we would drive our recyclables to a neighboring city to their recycle center.

    Our subdivision includes our garbage fee in our monthly assessment. So I would guess $10 or so per month for weekly (tomorrow in fact!) pickup. We used to be very diligent about separating paper from the other materials, but now we just combine it with our cardboard after seeing how it all gets sloshed together in the truck anyway. For our family of 5 we only have 1/2 garbage barrel of real garbage a week, which I think is pretty darn good. If I composted we could get that decreased. We use our 2 green tubs for metal, aluminum cans, and plastic (glass container beverages are key for mom and dad; milk for the boys!) and we use an additional garbage barrel for our newspapers, junk mail, discarded sales mags, and cardboard. I try to avoid buying bottled water–we keep filtered water in our fridge’s Pur dispenser and use our “green” bottles for when we’re on the go.

  9. I live in Switzerland and here they have in my opinion one of the best systems in the world for garbage and recycling.
    Glass, plastic (PET), tins, nespresso capsules, batteries, carton and so on you throw away at collection points sparse around town. You are likely to find one round the corner or 200 meters from your building. You do it yourself and it’s free.
    The incentive to employ your time in sorting accurately the packaging of what you consume is given by the cost of garbage bags where everything else tht cannot be recycled goes (e.g. yoghurt cups, plastic containers of various kinds, cereal bags etc).
    Garbage bags in fact are issued by the town itself, can be bought in supermarkets and a pack of 10, 35 liters bags, costs a whopping 20chf (roughly 20usd that is 2usd a pop).
    The garbage collectors will collect only the town-issued garbage bags (and fine you if you don’t do it).
    This is in fact consumption fee, not a tax. And it’s fair because a family of 2 persons or a single individual do not consume and produce as much garbage as a family of 4. Furthermore, the more you are attentive about the sorting the more your reduce the volume of what cannot be recycled and had to be thrown away in the expensive bags.

  10. We do not recycle as there is no option for curb side pickup. We could organize our recyclable waste and bring it to a center, but we don’t. We do, however, use cloth diapers for our two little ones, so I feel that’s pretty significant. We started off with disposables, but when we switched to cloth the volume of waste coming out of our house from two in diapers that disappeared as pretty surprising. We also don’t drink pop or bottled water, so that greatly diminishes the amount of things we’d recycle anyway. Did I mention we also save a lot of $$$ as a result of diapering and beverage decisions? Gotta love a win-win.

  11. Our city offers “free” recycling weekly (our tax dollars at work) plus a tub for unmixed contents. We can add other containers if needed – it’s all picked up regardless. It goes into a trash truck, which carts it nearby to a sorting facility. I also pick up the recycling from my volunteer “job” at our Habitat for Humanity ReStore, plus my wife and I pick up stuff while we’re out walking in the neighborhood, mostly glass bottles so they don’t get tossed and broken. I have read that household recycling amounts to only 2% or so of the possible recycling in the US (most is industrial) but every little bit helps.

  12. We do not recycle at all. It’s not an option for us. There is no recycling available. We live in a rural area, no trash pickup. We have to take trash to green bins ten miles away. The county looked at recycling and it costs them too much money to do it. It is a money-losing proposition so they don’t do it.

  13. Yes, I think we pay $4.62 (lol, just looked it up), we take pride in having our regular trash can being basically empty now. Our recycle bin is picked up every other week and its usually maxed out. Kids I think our brainwashed at school, so they take it very seriously. They only thing they dont recycle is glass. We have to take that to a center (about 2 miles away) and are not consistent on that though…

  14. I had no idea that people sometimes paid for recycling if it wasn’t already bundled into their local taxes. Between the monthly costs and the special recycling bags, it seems unfortunate that people may pay $10 to $20 a month for doing a good deed.

  15. Trash pick-up is paid for via out property taxes. We have single stream recycling once a week, yard waste pick-up every two weeks and trash pick-up once a week.

  16. There is no special cost for me (in South Florida) but yes I assume it’s bundled into something else I’m already paying (e.g. property taxes). I try to recycle at home … I know I could be more diligent about checking into what’s really recyclable and cleaning out the more difficult containers to recycle them instead of throwing them away … but I feel better that I’m actually being a good citizen now by recycling at least some of the things I use. I try to recycle paper/cardboard at work whenever possible but I’ve been too lazy to bring home any plastic or aluminum from work to recycle it.

  17. We have weekly trash pickup and bi-weekly recycling pickup. The company sells the recycling, but it wouldn’t cover their costs if they used twice as many people and twice as much diesel to pick it up. It’s all included in a single monthly charge based on the size of our garbage container. (We are only two people, so we have the smallest one).

    We have to separate paper and cardboard from containers, but that’s easy to do.

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