Spirit can’t be replicated
October 10, 2017
The aluminum can recycling bin at the Douglas County Animal Shelter is often full to the brim.
There, within sight of the county's transfer station operated by Douglas Disposal, is one of the reasons that curbside recycling won't pay for itself.
On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners learned that the most valuable material to recyclers is also the one that brought in the least amount.
Recycling is a popular pastime among the county's residents, who have made up for the lack of curbside recycling by taking it to the streets.
And one of the most valuable commodities for recycling is aluminum at $1,300 a ton, which made up only 2 percent of the material picked up by Douglas Disposal during a recent test.
Paper, which made up more than third of the material picked up, at least has some value at $75 a ton. The next largest material, glass, actually cost $14 a ton to recycle.
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Douglas County regularly ranks at the top of the list of Nevada counties recycling materials without curbside recycling.
While we'd love to have the service, we think that Douglas County recyclers' do-it-yourself spirit couldn't be replicated.
And we know that unless the service pencils out on its own, it will require a government mandate, and that could end up reducing recycling here.