Be careful what you dump in that recycling bin because it could cost you big time, 1200 WOAI news reports.
A proposal before the city’s Community Health and Equity Committee, today, would tack on a $50 fee to homeowners who dump dirty diapers in the blue bins, who has been a problem since the inception of the city’s recycling program.
“San Antonio’s contamination rate has always fluctuated; last year, contamination was as high as 28%,” the proposal reads. "On top of being a disgusting discovery for the unfortunate worker who discovers the mess during the sorting process, it’s also costing the city money."
Recommunity, the City’s recycling processor, charges the City approximately $1.2 million annually for the negative impact diapers have on their ability to process and sell materials,” it reads.
Dirty diapers are rightly considered a contamination, and it comes at a time when the recycling industry is becoming pickier about what they accept, and what gets denied and sent into a landfill.
University of Texas-Arlington Professor Sahadat Hossain, who heads the school’s Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability, says China is the main importer of recycling product from around the world. Recently, they put a regulation that recycling product cannot have more than 0.5 percent contaminant. That’s had a ripple effect.
“The market is completely in jeopardy right now,” he explains. “With a diaper, it’s difficult to sell the product at all.”
He says, collecting of recycling costs four to five times as much of garbage because it cannot be compacted. If you cannot use that product, he says you’re wasting that money.
The city already tacks on a $25 fee if you get caught putting non-recyclable stuff in the recycle bin. This $50 fee would be extra for diapers.
The proposal is so far only at the committee level, and it’s unclear when it could hit the full city council.