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Recycling paper saved city $2,115

August 29, 2000

Recycling paper saved city $2,115



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Hagerstown's curbside paper recycling program has saved the city $2,115 since 1995, according to figures presented Tuesday by City Engineer Bruce Johnston.

The recycling program saves money by avoiding the tipping fee charged for each ton of trash taken to a landfill. That disposal fee is $45 per ton, Johnston said.

According to Johnston's figures, the recycling program:

- saved $1,500 in the 1995-1996 fiscal year.

- cost $195 in the 1996-1997 fiscal year.

- saved $795 in the 1997-1998 fiscal year.

- cost $240 in the 1998-1999 fiscal year.

- saved $255 in the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

Johnston determined whether the recycling program saved money based on what it would have cost to dispose of the paper in a landfill versus the cost of the city's recycling collection contract.

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The city pays about $16,500 a year for the recycling program, but does not pay an additional tipping fee to dispose of the paper. In previous years the recycling collection contract was about $16,000.

Whether the program cost or saved the city money depended on how many tons of paper residents recycled. In the 1999-2000 fiscal year, residents recycled 363 tons, an increase of 11 tons over the previous year, but eight tons less than in the 1997-1998 fiscal year.

Johnston and council members agreed the city needs to do more to promote the recycling program.

Councilman Alfred W. Boyer said he previously questioned the financial benefit of the recycling program, but now supports the program.

"We need to promote the program more so we can save more money," Boyer said.

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