Recycling Costs Drive Waste Management Fee Increase
Major shifts in the way recyclables are bought and sold on the international market are being felt in California, and Danville residents will be seeing an increase to their solid waste and recycling fees as a result.
California state law requires local jurisdictions to divert 75% of solid waste from landfills by 2020. Along with composting and waste reduction, recycling is a critical component in meeting this mandate. California exports about a third of all recycled materials to foreign markets every year. More than 60% of recyclables exports go to China.
However, recent changes in worldwide markets for recyclables have increased the cost to process the materials, and China has reduced the amount of recyclables permitted to be imported. Additionally, more stringent standards have been imposed to reduce the amount of contaminants allowed on recyclables.
These changes have resulted in increased waste management costs, which are being passed along to customers beginning in March 2020. Although rate adjustments of approximately 8% are expected, Danville’s rates will continue to be competitive and below average among East Bay cities.
Recycle Smart has an FAQ with more information about the rate changes on their website. https://www.recyclesmart.org/changes-recyclables-market
To learn more about the specific actions local governments are taking to respond to the challenges presented by China’s changing policy and other market changes visit the Cal Recycle webpage https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/markets/nationalsword