Last November, Frederick County commissioners gambled when they signed a two-and-a-half year contract (expiring April 24, 2010) to pay $12 per ton to haul recyclable waste to a processing plant in Howard County.
But as financial markets soured, the county failed to earn the expected $40-50 per ton of recyclable materials, Gazette.net reports.
Although the county is not making its expected profit, it says the cost for hauling recyclable is still cheaper than treating it as trash. The county currently pays $80 per ton to haul waste to landfills in Virginia.
Fredrick County currently recycles 36 percent of its waste and has a goal to recycle 60 percent by 2024. The county spends $3 million annually to fund a recycling program that allows residents to put all their recyclables in a larger bin, which eliminates sorting. The system is designed to encourage participation by making recycling easier.
Last October, baled newspapers in Northern California were going for $140 to $150 a ton. By November, the market price had more than halved to $55 to $60 a ton.