The Costs of Residential Waste Pickup Continues to be a Challenge for Many Communities

This is a legitimate question. How come the neighbor’s trash is picked up on Thursday morning by 8:00, but your own trash does not get picked up until sometime after noon? As you watch the trash crews navigate their way through the neighborhood, it appears that they must have some system. It is a system, however, that befuddles you.
Others must be confused as well. In fact, the city is in the middle of negotiating a new contract for residential waste pickup services.

In a surprising turn of events, the city initially turned down the lowest bidder because they did not think the contractor would be able to service the large city because they did not have any reference that included contracts for large cities. In stead, the city was going to settle for a higher bid from a another company that was going to provide the same services. That bid for the same services include yard waste pick up and separate recycling. After enough complaints from city council members and community members, however, the negotiations have reopened and the city is again considering the lower bid.

Residential Waste Pickup Is Big Business in Most Parts of the Country

As the nation continues to come to grips with the overwhelming problems our trash is creating, it is no wonder that there are many communities that struggle to find a way to get rid of trash and the recycling that is generated. Consider some of these facts and figures about the many aspects of both commercial and residential residential waste pickup:

  • It costs an average of $30 per ton to recycle trash, and $50 per ton to send it to a landfill.
  • $11.5 billion is spent every year to clean up litter.
  • although many of us only think about curbside pickups when it comes to trash pickup, the reality is waste management can encompass as many as 20 different industries.
  • Classifing waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization, the waste hierarchy refers to the “3 Rs” which are reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • The average person generates over four pounds of trash every day.
  • Fortunately, Americans recycle more paper products than they send to landfills. In fact, the U.S. paper industry set a goal of a 60% scrap paper recovery rate by the year 2012, but achieved this goal three years early.

Trash pickup day is easy to recognize in many neighborhoods. And while no one loves to drive through a neighborhood that is lined in trash and recycling bins, everyone knows that it is a necessary part of the lives that we live.

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