Westbrook is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States and a suburb of Portland.
But Westbrook council has a costly problem, which is shared by many local authorities around the world.
The city could soon be charged US$10,000 or more a month extra due to contaminants in collected recycling.
According to their audits, 35% of the collected recyclables are contaminated, causing the recycling company ecomaine to charge the city its highest recycling fees.
The city’s Sustainability Coordinator Lynn Leavitt is hoping to get the contamination down to 10-15% if possible, through continued education efforts with residents.
The city is paying US$79 per ton of recycling to ecomaine, but this will rise from July (to at least US$95 per ton), depending on how much is contaminated. If contamination is at 25% (well below what it is now) the cost per ton could be as high as US$174.
“When they switch us to $95 a ton, that’s going to cost us roughly $10,742 a month for recycling alone,” Leavitt told the American Journal.
“If we continue to see this level of contamination, we will be paying almost $17,000 a month for recycling with the fee if we can’t lower our contamination rates.”
The city has used various tagging activities to try to teach residents how to recycle correctly, what is and is not allowed in the recycling kerbside bins.
“Recycling programs at this point are on the line when they are costing this much,” Leavitt said.
“It’s not off the table for recycling to get canceled in any town. We are doing so much right now to really improve what we have to offer, I’d hate to see this positive thing get lost because the finances won’t work.”
It makes BinSense!
BinSense has developed a world first sensor that can detect contaminants WITHIN the recycling bin, educating residents on whether they have recycled correctly, and telling the recycling truck drivers whether the bin has clean recycling or not.
We have an international patent on this technology, and we’re currently trialling this with various local councils in Australia, and have interest from overseas.
Contact Naren @ BinSense for more information…
Read the full article, in the Press Herald.