Leesburg Ponies Up Higher Recycling Bill

The Leesburg Town Council on Tuesday agreed to pay an extra $91,000 to its trash contractor this year to cover the rapidly escalating cost of recycling.

The fiscal year 2019 budget amendment will increase the payment to Patriot Disposal, which took over the town’s trash collection contract last summer. At the time the bid was awarded, trash haulers were being charged $55 per ton by the recycling plant. In less than a year, the fee has jumped to $91.58 per ton, a 66 percent increase.

Global forces—led by the cutback on materials accepted by China—have prompted localities across the country to reconsider their recycling programs. For example, last month Prince William County abandoned glass recycling.

But Leesburg’s Environmental Advisory Committee doesn’t want the town to give up yet. One idea is to roll out a public information campaign to help residents and business create a cleaner recycling stream, something that could reduce the town’s cost.

Rethinking Recycling: Changing Global Markets Bring Local Challenges

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