The drag on the economy has hit the nation, and this community, in nearly every capacity thought possible.
Real estate has hit a dry spot, banks are tougher to get loans from, jobs are being lost, companies going out of business and people are flat-out losing their homes. Now, it seems that costs for recycling services through the Delaware Solid Waste Authority are also going to be affected.
“The demand overseas has definitely waned for recyclables, especially China,” said Rich Von Stetten, senior manager of statewide recycling for DSWA. “This, in turn, has made the markets for recyclables volatile, to say the least.”
About three months ago, the DSWA was getting paid $65 per ton for its single-stream material, according to Von Stetten. At this time, DSWA is paying $50 per ton to get rid of it.
The sheer economics of those numbers tells us that DSWA is going to have to increase costs for consumers — particularly regarding curbside pick-up services.
And, yes, that stinks.
However, it’s important to remember why many of us got into recycling in the first place — the want to help make the world a little better place. Will prices go up? Most likely. Should that stop us from recycling?
We hope not.
Von Stetten said that Delaware has 165 drop-off locations and “nearly 40,000 paying curbside customers.” That’s significant in a state this size, and shows a collective willingness to try to help the situation by a great number of our residents. He also said that residential subscriptions will stay the same “for now,” but that some of the deals through municipalities might change.
It would be a shame if they do go up — especially given the current economic situation for many households. However, it is important that people stay the course and continue their efforts. It’s a new year. Let’s put in an even better effort.