As recycling costs rise, will Austin feel the sting?


The cost of being green has been going up — at least when it comes to recycling.

China — traditionally a top buyer of mixed paper, plastics and other recyclable trash that U.S. consumers toss into their recycling bins — plans to severely restrict imports of some of those commodities beginning in 2018 as part of an effort to clean up its environment.

The decision has been roiling international markets for recyclables and driving down prices since it was announced during the summer, rendering recycling programs — such as Austin’s — less economical by reducing revenue from sales of the materials.

Austin city officials say they have no plans to increase recycling fees paid by residents, at least in the short term, or to cut back on the city’s curbside recycling effort, although they acknowledge costs have been climbing as a result of the issue.

“We obviously have concerns, but we’re not there yet,” said Richard McHale, assistant director of Austin Resource Recovery.

Read more on our premium site, MyStatesman.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Up the Ladder

Credit unions Greater Texas Credit Union has named Lisa Bateman vice president-consumer lending. Consulting Potomac Strategy Group has named Jamie Bennett vice president. E-Commerce Twyla has named Thomas Galbraith chief executive officer. Health care HNI Healthcare has named Michael Saunders president. Law firms Weisbart Springer Hayes has named Mia...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

TEXAS ECONOMY With tax overhaul as ‘tailwind,’ regional economy surged, Dallas Fed says: Economic activity in Texas and parts of two neighboring states surged over the past six weeks, as the federal tax overhaul boosted confidence across a wide range of businesses in the region, according to a report last week from the Federal Reserve Bank...
Despite tight labor market, Austin job growth maintains momentum
Despite tight labor market, Austin job growth maintains momentum

Back around the middle of last year, workforce experts looked at the easing rate of Austin-area job growth and figured the inevitable had finally arrived: The region’s tight labor market was bringing expansion back to more reasonable levels. In true Austin fashion, though, local hiring re-accelerated in the months since. And after modest job...
Amazon raises monthly Prime membership rate
Amazon raises monthly Prime membership rate

The monthly membership fee for Amazon Prime rose Friday from $10.99 to $12.99. Company officials said the annual membership will remain at $99 dollars. Monthly customers do not get access to Amazon Video, which costs $8.99 a month. The last Prime subscription hike came in 2014, when Amazon increased its yearly membership from $79 to $99. The e-commerce...
Top tips for selling your old stuff on eBay (and actually making cash)
Top tips for selling your old stuff on eBay (and actually making cash)

Too much clutter, too little money, too many gifts you didn't like... an eBay auction is one of the simplest solutions to all three issues. If your trash might be someone else's treasure, an eBay business is simple to start and accessible to just about anyone. "It has low start-up costs and it can be started out of your home," noted the ...
More Stories