Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Recycle Ripoff! I did not know this!

Today I did some clean up at a non-profit organization and made a dump run after. I went to the dump at Eureka behind Harbor Lanes after 4:30pm. I had a copy machine to dispose of, so I went to the recycle area designated for that waste first. I unloaded the copy machine myself and wheeled it up to the scale. I was asked whether it was household equipment or business. I said it was a non profit business equipment for disposal. I was then told it was 10 cents a pound for household and 28 cents a pound for business. I let them know it was a non profit again, and the girl said she would call to see if that would change the price. Arcata and Eureka Community Recycling Centers She let me know that it would be 28 cents after the call. The copy machine weighed 210 pounds! She asked for $58 and I only had around $40 cash. I pulled out my debit card and she said they only accept cash or a check. I said it was a check cashing card, and she said they do not have that capability. I asked her to see again by phone if I could get the 10 cent rate as I had enough money for that. She called her boss, who she told me I could call and complain also, but no dice, I would have to re-load this 210 pound now messed up copy machine and take away since I did not have the $58 dollars cash.

What a bunch of bureaucratic bull! So now that it is a piece of machinery stuck at my house, could I ethically claim it as household waste? Because now that is what it is currently. I try not to be cynical over stuff like this, but yee!


The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

It costs a lot to be good to the environment. Kudos to you for taking the 210 pound albatross home. It is a scene like the one you just described that leads others to illegal dumping.


Anonymous said...

It costs a lot to pay for phony enviro BS. The state is in the red again from all this crap. Everyone wants to do the right thing and these phony's will make damn sure they make mucho dollars off us.God Bless Global Warming scare tatics and keep the suckers paying and paying and paying.

Anonymous said...

Just leave it at the Russell Street recycling center like all the other illegal dumpers who pile up recyclable and non-recyclable items in the middle of the street for the wind to blow throughout the entire neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that you had so much trouble Richard. However in all honesty I don't see this as a case of "bureaucratic bull". Looks more like a case of not enough cash and no checkbook.

Why do you think a non profit should get a break here? They already get tax breaks and my experience is that often that is the main reason for making certain businesses non profit to begin with. In my experience the people who run said non profits get good salaries and great perks while employees get screwed because it's a "non profit".

Anonymous said...

The fees charged for the copier exist because Arcata Recycling is charged anywhere from .12 to .22 per pound for recycling of e-waste. We also have to pay employees to package the material for shipping and in some cases also must pay freight.

The reason we have such costs is that we have chosen to commit to the Basel Action Network's E-waste pledge for responsible product stewardship. This is a commitment to control the entire end-of-life chain of custody and ensure no material is shipped overseas into third world countries with lax environmental standards. Functionally this means that the material collected for recycling is processed in the United States or in countries that have infrastructure to safely handle the materials. This adds to our costs but we feel it justifiable.

I know these facts may not change anyones mind who have participated in this blog but at least it may bring some understanding to why there are fees associated with handling this material.

Executive Director
Arcata Community Recycling Center

Anonymous said...

Everyone in the scrap and recycle buisness is making bank. Except you gov hand out phonies. Where's the money going? You suck,your system sucks,your backer Woolley sucks.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid I am on Richard's side on this one. Recycling is a public benefit, and for sure making sure that a 210 pound monster like this does not end up in an alley is also in the public benefit.

At least twice a year there should be a day in which such items can be dropped off free of cost.

And for what it is worth, there are lots of non-profits that are not businesses, and do not really get tax breaks.

Anonymous said...

This is certainly interesting. The original poster mentioned going to the dump where they certainly charge for everything dropped off. I do understand the State of CA has banned electronics from landfill so Richard really had no choice. If he had dropped it at the transfer station he would have been charged a $10 dump fee plus $.28 per pound (I made this mistake once). I also know the rates in question are set annually at a rate hearing by the government not the recycling center.

It is a misconception that there is enough value in recycled materials to cover their handling and this is why a not-for-profit will take materials the for profit recyclers refuse. Try to take a monitor to Eel River Disposal or Humboldt Sanitation and you will find out they either do not accept them or charge a great deal more for taking it (monitors are $25 at Eel River and not accepted at Humboldt Sanitation). The for-profits will drop materials when they are not profitable to recycle while the not-for-profit take the materials whether money making or not.

Face it - if the recycling centers did not exist we would be forced to throw all this stuff away and be forced to pay for the disposal. Anyone that thinks recycling is a rip-off does have the choice to pay a higher fee for disposing of the materials instead.

samoasoftball said...

Mr. or Mrs. Executive Director- Don't we all have to pay an e-waste fee to supposedly help cover the disposal of said e-waste? Where is that money going? And why such a huge difference 10 cents to 28 cents to dispose? Help this ignorant consumer/honest environmentalist know what is up.

Anonymous said...

Richard - The reason there is a two-tier price system is because the Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) decided to subsidize the cost of e-waste and monitors for residential customers. This subsidy was instituted to reduce illegal dumping of e-waste in our alleys and alomng our streets. This year the HWMA increased the rate charged to residents from .02 per pound to .10 per pound. ACRC's rate for handling e-waste was established in our Contract with the HWMA in 2002. The contracted rate has not been altered as this is the cost of handling the material.

Unfortunately, once you identified yourself as a business customer the employee's hands were tied. We operate as a contractor at the transfer station and the HWMA has been firm on the position that businesses pay the full cost of handling the material. Many businesses come in and represent the material as coming from residential sources but things like copiers are a little difficult to represent in this manner.

The fee established is our cost for doing the activity. When a business pays .28 the transaction is reported to the HWMA (monthly) and State (annually). The funds stay with our organization to pay Electronic Recyclers of America for taking the material.

If a resident brings material and pays .10 then the HWMA pays the additional .18 necessary to cover the cost of recycling. From our perspective it would certainly make our lives much easier if the same rate was applied to all materials (business or residential).

As far as free events suggested by another writer we have done three in the past two years. The first two in Arcata and Eureka two years ago generated 16 semi-loads of material and was very costly to our organization. We helped with a free event in Garberville this fall and continue to discuss another event in Arcata and Eureka.

E-waste is a complex waste stream that the State of CA has banned from landfills. The material is hazardous and handlers such as ACRC are required to be certified and regulated by CA Division of Toxics and Substance Control. Our committment to a higher standard for recycling the e-waste adds to the costs of recycling but reduces our community's liability for the material. I hope this explanation helps.

Executive Director
Arcata Community Recycling Center

samoasoftball said...

I feel a non profit should be charged the same as a residential. Please help that become true.

My copy machine that is in My truck in My garage that I am stuck with can ethically be brought to your disposal sight as residential now, right?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. "Phoney enviro bs"
I am amazed and disgusted by some of the comments here. But mainly yours. There is always, it seems one jerk who thinks no one knew the environment was in trouble before Al Gore. Well, we did, sir. And it is. But you dont care, FOX 'news' tells you its all liberal lies, and you believe it.
And another rocket-scientist telling me and my non-profit that we hardly work and make all sorts of money! Really? I'd like you to tell that to my dedicated, overworked-underpaid staff to their faces!
The ignorance is staggering.
Do you think we humans throw out a copier or two a day? Spend a day at the dump sometime, and see if you can even comprehend how MUCH crap we expect them to make go away.
But you dont care where all the garbage goes, do you?
You pay someone to make it disappear and never give it another thought.
Meanwhile, we are starting to drown it it.