Sustainability 101

Waste Costs Expected To Keep Rising: Take Control in 2019

Waste costs have been rising and seem slated to continue its ascend.  Depending on where your business is located,  the forecast over a five-year period is an increase of between 4.8% to 10.7% in MSW tipping fees. Take a look at the table below from nrra.net to see the increases you may face. 

What is causing prices to rise? We’ve summarized our insights below so you can take steps to control your costs for 2019 and beyond.

Region 2017 2018* 2019* 2020* 2021* AAGR 5-Year total increase
Northeast $74.75 $75.92 $77.10 $78.25 $79.28 1.48% 6.06%
Southeast $40.36 $40.87 $41.37 $41.85 $42.32 1.19% 4.86%
Midwest $49.57 $50.63 $51.59 $52.55 $53.42 1.89% 7.77%
Western $35.69 $36.58 $37.47 $38.27 $39.06 2.28% 9.45%
Pacific $59.18 $60.84 $62.50 $64.07 $65.54 2.58% 10.73%
Entire US $50.30 $51.19 $52.06 $52.84 $53.53 1.57% 6.43%

The one, two punch inflating waste costs:

#1: The continuing China import ban. As you know, China has blocked the import of contaminated recyclables. The US recycling contamination rate is about 25%. China will only accept contamination rates under 1%. Waste haulers and facilities are increasing their fees since its more expensive now to process recycling. Towns and cities that used to pay nothing to have their recyclables hauled away now have to spend as much as $75 a ton. Contaminated recyclables are sent to landfills, resulting in rising landfill fees. Learn more.

#2: Glass is no longer being accepted for recycling in many markets.  In many towns and cities, glass no longer has value. Some communities are paying to have the glass specially crushed for used in construction, but usually, glass goes into the landfill. Glass is heavy, adding to your waste costs.

What can you do?

#1: Reduce glass waste: Look at your supply chain to see if you can reduce the use of glass in the products you purchase.

#2: Reduce contamination: According to Waste Dive, “…contamination rates have in many ways become the most important metric in the recycling sector.” To control your waste costs, it pays to reduce contamination.  Here are 6 steps to do that, as detailed in How To Reduce Contamination, Maintain The Value Of Your Recycling, Control Costs.

  • Education
  • Train Janitorial Crews
  • Use proper signage and standardized labels
  • Develop an effective recycling program
  • Conduct a waste audit
  • Move towards Zero Waste.

In addition, you can:

  • Get more accurate waste data
  • Manage potential rate increases

Get more details on all tips mentioned above here5 Things You Can Do To Address The Impact Of The China Ban

Remember, effective waste management has one of the most direct impacts on your business operations and the environment.

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