SOCRRA NEWSLETTER | MAY 2019

SOCRRA Recycling is Not Trashed!

Here at SOCRRA we have received a lot of questions like this:

Are recycling trucks really recycling anymore, or are they just throwing it out and tossing it into landfills?

I heard this other city in the Detroit area is just trashing their recyclables, why should I keep recycling?

Can we really recycle anymore because China is no longer taking our recyclables?

Does recycling cover its own costs?

Let’s set the record straight

Fact: The recycling industry is facing tough times right now. Recycling values are at a 9-year low (this means when SOCRRA sells the recyclable materials, the value of the materials is lower now than has been in 9 years), but that doesn’t mean recycling is going away.  And just because other cities’ programs are experiencing challenges, does not mean it applies to SOCRRA.

“No recyclables from SOCRRA communities are going to the landfill”, says Jeff McKeen, General Manager of SOCRRA.  “We have invested millions of dollars into the recycling infrastructure and will continue to provide recycling services.”

SOCRRA has been providing services to its 12-member communities since the 1950’s.  It owns and operates its own recycling facility, trash transfer station, and composting site, which allows SOCRRA to better manage and control for costs while providing top notch services to the residents in the member communities.

SOCRRA recently updated their recycling facility in Troy in 2017, making the switch to collection with carts and mixed recycling – placing all recyclables together rather than separating paper from plastic, metal and glass.  Mixed recycling makes collection more efficient while encouraging more recycling from residents.  SOCRRA is committed to keeping recycling going, despite the downturn.

More importantly, recycling offsets the cost of trash disposal for member communities.  For every ton of recyclables, communities earn a rebate. For every ton of trash, communities pay a per ton fee. So, the overall cost to your community for SOCRRA services is reduced when there is more recycling.  This is what makes SOCRRA unique and a model for other programs.

While China was a major buyer of recycled materials generated in the United States, other end markets do exist.  SOCRRA works with a network of material brokers who help to find homes for these recycled materials.  There are end markets here in Michigan and the Great Lakes region like Clean Tech Plastics in Dundee where SOCRRA’s bottles and jugs are recycled.

What You Can Do to Help

Don’t stop recycling and recycle correctly are the easiest things you and I can do to keep recycling moving forward. Keep these things in mind as you recycle:

1)   Only place recyclables in your cart that are acceptable curbside.  Not sure what is accepted?  Use the Waste Wizard to confirm what can and cannot go in your cart.

2)  Leave out questionable items, the items you wish were recyclable, or items we accept at our Drop-off only.  When in doubt, throw it out OR use the Waste Wizard to find answers.

3)  Put trash in the trash container, not the recycling container.  Common items that end up in the recycling that should not be there are things like diapers, plastic bags, Styrofoam, cords, and hoses.

SOCRRA recycling is happening, and we appreciate your assistance by recycling correctly.

Set-out by 7:00 am

All containers for trash, recycling, and yard waste must be set out to the curb by 7:00 am to ensure pick-up. We appreciate your assistance to ensure timely pick-up by the service providers.

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