Monday, July 23, 2018

Press Release: “City of Lake Worth Changes to Two Bin Recycling”.

How did the City of Lake Worth get here? From single stream recycling using one 55-gallon container to double stream using two 18-gallon containers?

Following the press release below is more information from a City Commission meeting last May. Simply put, the change in recycling methods is, “mostly due to the single recycling container being used as a second household trash container.”

City press release issued by Ben Kerr, PIO.

Lake Worth, Florida — Starting Oct. 1, residents and businesses in the City of Lake Worth will have two recycling bins instead of one, as the City restarts its partnership with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA).

The new partnership will have a big impact on making recycling in the City of Lake Worth more sustainable. Lake Worth’s single stream recycling partner had raised the cost of recycling by $90 per ton and regular assessments of single stream recycling showed that over a third of loads were contaminated and unable to be cleanly recycled.

[Please note: This is very significant as is explained later.]

By re-partnering with the SWA, the City of Lake Worth will see economic savings as well as benefit from the SWA’s Recycling Revenue Share Program. Recycling efforts through the SWA go back into the local community as a Revenue Share. Since 2010, local municipalities have shared almost $9.3 million in recycling revenue. Lake Worth will now be a part of this program, and benefit from the sale of recyclables.

The SWA has operated a two-bin recycling system since the late 1980s, keeping paper separated from dirty food and drink containers. This ensures that the paper that is recovered is very clean and has a higher value, while wasting as little as possible.

The City of Lake Worth remains committed to environmentally conscious living. An effective recycling program is an important part of that commitment along with our progressive projects such as our Municipal Solar Energy Field, Low Impact LED lighting, and our continued work with the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center on capturing the energy of the Gulf Stream current.

We look forward to partnering with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County to provide a more efficient and lower cost recycling program to all residents.

“Gee Wiz, Muriel! We have to start using these two little 18-gallon bins for recycling?”

Yes. Starting October 1st. What will be done with all those green/yellow 55-gallon recycling containers? The City will provide that information at a later date.

Forget about silly things like banning plastic straws! This City has a much bigger problems: like educating the public how to recycle properly and that process, recycling, is about to become much more complicated for many of the public. Everything else is just a distraction.

You see, for too many here in this City, that large 55-g recycling container was used as a second trash can. Trash when thrown into the recycling container is called “contamination”. When the recycling truck becomes contaminated the entire load is considered contaminated; the entire truckload becomes refuse, not recyclables. The truck then delivers the load to a landfill or incinerator instead of a delivery to a recycling facility.

If you took the time to recycle properly all your effort was a waste of time if it ended up in a contaminated truck.

“Whoever voted for this thing will never
get my vote again!”

The vote was unanimous at the City Commission, 4-0, with Commissioner Scott Maxwell absent.

From the agenda item at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting on May 1st:

Interlocal Agreement with Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County for Delivery of Municipal Solid Waste & Municipal Revenue Sharing Recycling Program Program.

Summary: The Interlocal Agreement authorizes the City to deliver dual stream recycling to the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA) for compensation.

Background and Justification: On September 16, 2008, the City Commission [Jeff Clemens was mayor of Lake Worth] approved an agreement with Waste Management Inc. of Florida (“WM”), for a single stream recycling program. WM agreed to pay the City $10/ton of recycling delivered by the City to WM.

Single stream recycling is collected from residents via a single container in lieu of separating paper products and plastics/glass into two separate containers. Dual stream recycling is collected via two separate containers. Most recycling facilities are moving away from single stream recycling because of a high contamination rate.

The high contamination rate is mostly due to the single recycling container being used as a second household trash container. The single containers are dumped using an automated side load refuse truck, where the driver can only see the recycling at the top of the container and not any comingled household garbage underneath.

The City does not receive compensation for contaminated loads.

WM is also moving away from dual stream recycling. WM does not want to renew the existing dual stream contract with the City that expires 9/30/18 unless the City agrees to pay WM $85/ton of dual stream recycling. The difference from receiving $10/ton to paying $85/ton to WM is not financially feasible. The alternative is to return to dual stream recycling.

SWA now provides a cost share based on market rate. The cost for new dual stream recycle bins city-wide is $220k, $147,000 of which the City will need pay back to SWA. For that reimbursement, SWA and the City will have a 50/50 split of the future recycling revenues until the $147,000 is paid in full. At that point, the City will then collect 100% of the recycling revenues moving forward.

SWA brought this Interlocal Agreement before their board for approval on 4/24/18. City approval of this Agreement would allow SWA to place the order for new bins to be distributed city-wide so that dual stream collection can begin on or before 10/01/18. The City will engage in significant public outreach and educational programs in order to make this recycling transition.

Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this information helpful.