Section 4: Questions to ask Potential Buyers of Recyclables With a contract, a deal is made between the community and a broker or end-user.
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COMMUNITY RECYCLING A Manual for Planning and Operating a Recycling Center Kentucky Recycling & Marketing Assistance Kentucky Division of Waste Management 300 Sower Boulevard, 2nd Floor Frankfort, KY 40601 Phone: 502 – 564 – 6716 Fax: 502 – 564 – 4245 Telecommunications device for the deaf/hard – of – hearing: 502 – 564 – 0172 E – mail: We b site: Energy and Environment Cabinet

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2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1: The Concept of Recycling An introduction to the recycling concept and the 5 essential components to a recycling program. 3 – 4 Section 2: Outline of A Recycling Program An outline of critical steps and considerations in planning, developing, and implementing a recycling program. Use this as a reference throughout the development of your recycling program. 5 – 6 Section 3: Collecting Recyclables An in – depth discussion on the different approaches to collecting materials. Use this to help determine the best approach for your program. 7 – 10 Section 4: Questions to ask Potential Buyers of Recyclables A checklist of basic questions designed to aid in evaluating potential buyers and the contractual agreements they offer. 11 – 13 Section 5: Facility Design and Operation A general discussion on facility design and operational considerations, including specific material and space requirements, and the various types of equipment available. Use this to determine your space and equipment needs. 14 – 21 Section 6: Feedsto ck Quality Control of Recyclable Materials A detailed overview of the specific collection and operational considerations of recycling paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, and steel. Use this to understand the different grading systems for each material, and t heir specific quality control standards. 22 – 38 Section 7: Conversion Factors for Recyclable Materials A table of conversions commonly used in the recycling industry. 38 – 39 Glossary of Recycling Terms Terms that will help you understand the language of recycling. 40 – 42

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3 SECTION 1 THE CONCEPT OF RECYCLING Recycling is a process, and not merely the collection of materials. The recycling process involves a series of steps from the point of purchase, through the use, and finally to the recovery of an item that has served its original purpose. Recovered items are then processed and returned to the economic mainstream in the form of a raw material to be manufactured into new products. The collection of materials is the part of the recycling process in which communities and the local citizenry have the most interest. This part of th e process, however, will require a sufficient accumulation of material to achieve an economy of scale . Stated another way, tractor – trailer load lots are necessary to attract the best markets for the recovered materials. Most urban areas in Kentucky have a sufficient population base to support programs. However, in rural Kentucky it is more difficult to accumulate larger quantities of the same material to achieve an economy of scale. Small operations with processing capabilities may find it advantageous to market cooperatively or regionalize with other programs to access better market values for materials. FIVE COMPONENTS OF A RECYCLING PROGRAM 1. MARKETS: The best markets for materials normally collected in municipal programs are for those packaged and sold in tractor – trailer lots. Combination loads of several materials are marketable as well, but usually at lower pricing. Information about markets is avai lable on the Resource Conservation web site 2. MATERIALS: There are several materials in the waste stream worth collecting and processing. There are an estimated 20 pounds of these mater ials available in the materials and provides some general quality standards for them. 3. COLLECTION SYSTEM: A collection system will be necessary to accumulate the recovered materials. The system utilized will usually be designed around the existing system used for the collection of waste (trash/garbage). See Section 3 entitled

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4 4. PROCESSING CENTER: For materials to be marketable, they must be processed to meet quality and shipping standards established by the buyer. Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) must be baled and be free of contaminants: aluminum cans may have to be flattened, densified or baled, and must be free of steel and other contaminants; glass must usually be separated by color; steel cans and plastic must be baled. A processing center, whether publicly or privately owned, is necessary. The equipment needed and the la yout of the facility will depend on the collection system, the quantities and variety of material, and the methods of processing (co – mingled or source separated). Equipment and estimated costs are given on page 19, the 5. ORGANIZA TIONAL STRUCTURE: Some organizational structure is necessary to conduct the day – to – day operations of the program, schedule deliveries, ship materials, receive revenue, pay bills and enter into contracts. Developing a thoughtful & effective business plan i s essential before investing, collecting, and/or purchasing processing equipment.

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5 SECTION 2 OUTLINE OF A RECYCLING PROGRAM Organize Appoint a coordinator Organize committees 1. Markets 2. Collection 3. Organization Understand What Recycling Can Do Economic benefits Savings collection, disposal cost avoidance, transportation Revenues from sale of materials Creation of jobs (processing & manufacturing) Evaluate The Present Situation Waste & recycling c ollectors Disposal site – transfer station, landfill, hauled out of county Volume collected in tons Type of materials (business, industry, residential, seasonal) Equipment available for collection of recyclables Facilities available for processing recyclable materials Markets Location Market Opportunities for Recyclable Materials Recovered in Kentucky from the Kentucky Recycling Market Assistance Program (KRMA) Other counties Area recyclers Yellow pages Match materials with markets by determining the total quality standards for materials dealer terms) Collection Drop – off (municipal or volunteer) and convenience centers Advantages Low capital investment & operating costs Greater range of collection H ours can vary Clean materials if staffed w/limited access (fenced & locked)

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6 Disadvantages Lower recovery rate – relies on residents delivering Vulnerable to theft and vandalism Can become unsightly Contaminated materials – if unmanned (to be effective drop offs must be manned and access controlled in an enclosed, fenced area.) Curbside Collection Advantages Convenient to homeowner Highest recovery and participation rates Can combine with regular trash collection Disadvantages High initial capital & operati ng costs Complex management Mobile Unit Advantages Flexibility of location Low capital investment Disadvantages Limited materials Limited hours Contamination if un – manned Equipment Determined by type of program Sources: Division of Waste Management (KRMA) Other community programs Trade journals Yellow pages Regional Approach Contact adjoining counties or neighboring programs Benefits of regional approach: Recyclables may be upgraded & processed to meet best market quality standards Larger volumes provide market leverage Lower municipal processing and transportation equipment costs Lower municipal administrative costs Markets more willing to negotiate with large suppliers

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8 recyclables. Competition will dictate the costs to the customer. Because this type of system does not require changes in service areas, it allows small haulers to continue to operate and incorporates the benefits of integrating garbage and recyclables collection. MAINTAIN EXISTING REFUSE SYSTEM AND CONTRACT WITH AN INDEPENDENT RECYCLING CONTRACTOR Depending on the size of a community, one zone or many zones ca n be designated. With this type of system, it may be necessary to negotiate a means of crediting community residents with savings that the individual refuse haulers will realize in the cost of collection and disposal of remaining wastes. USE ONE OR SEVER AL HAULERS FOR COMBINED REFUSE AND RECYCABLES COLLECTION The number of haulers desired depends on the size of the community and the rates the haulers can offer. This system would allow for the benefits of combined collection of recyclables and remaining waste. With this type of system, the size of the zones could be set at a scale that would enable smaller, existing haulers to bid for one or more zones. COMMUNITIES WITH SOLE HAULERS OR SOLE HAULERS BY NEIGHBORHOOD Some municipalities bid and contract waste collection services for their residents through one contract for the entire community or through multiple contracts, each for an individual zone within the community. Under this arrangement, the integration of refuse and recyclable collections is m ore straightforward because the municipality can stipulate in its bidding documents the recyclable collection services that must be provided by the refuse hauler. Avoided collection and disposal costs realized by the refuse hauler are automatically includ ed in the bid prices offered for the combined services. However, short – term difficulties may be encountered if an existing contract for refuse collection does not expire before the selected date for starting the door – to – door collection program. In this s ituation, the municipality should negotiate with the refuse hauler to capture credits for avoided collection and disposal costs. COORDINATING WITH EXISTING RECYCLING OPERATIONS A search should be conducted before a recyclable material collection program is initiated in a community, to determine if there already may be an existing network of recycling programs and activities. Usually this network includes an assortment of public, private, and not – for – profit interests, encompassing such parties as environm ental organizations, scrap dealers, church groups, resale stores (for example, Goodwill Industries, Disabled American Veterans DAV, and the Salvation Army), and others. Some of these groups may feel threatened by the initiation of a community recyclable s collection program because of real or perceived impacts of the program on their operations. It is important that, to the extent possible, a recyclables collection program be coordinated with these efforts can build on the success and momentum of existing activities. A new door – to – door recycling program can positively coexist with existing recycling

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9 programs such as drop – off and buy – back operations. Usually, door – to – door and other programs are not i n direct competition with each other because the persons who are participating in the existing programs will usually continue to do so. Likewise, persons who participate in buy – back programs because of the financial incentive will also most likely continu e to do so. However, inefficient, inconvenient recycling programs will possibly lose participants if a convenient door – to – door program is implemented. The best advice in coordinating with existing recycling operations is to invite the parties into the planning process as much as possible. Where conflicts exist work toward solutions that lead to the maximum waste diversion for the community as a whole. Try to find ways in which efforts by various parties can be made to compliment each other. For examp le, some curbside collection programs have worked with charitable organizations such as those mentioned to establish regular pickup days on which residents can set out articles such as used clothing that is picked up by a truck following the recyclables co llection vehicle. This type of collection strategy could also be used for other items such as scrap metals and large appliances (called white goods). Although it is important to establish a linkage between programs, it is also important to prevent scaven ging of materials that are set out for collection. All effective recyclables collection programs will target materials that comprise a significant portion of the waste stream, most of which have a relatively low market value. In an efficient program, the cost of collecting and processing low – value materials will be somewhat offset through the collection of high – value materials such as aluminum cans. If scavengers are allowed to remove these high – minimize costs and become self – sufficient may be undermined. Therefore, most communities that implement door – to – door recyclables collection programs adopt an anti – scavenging ordinance that prohibits unauthorized removal of set out materials. COORDINATION WITH DROP – OFF PROGRAMS Many communities have found the increased public awareness and involvement created by a good door – to – door collection program actually increases the amounts of materials delivered to drop – off facilities already in place. A brief di scussion of several strategies for supplementing a door – to – door collection program with a drop – off program follows: Drop – Off Programs Can Be Used to Collect Materials Not Included in a Door – to – Door Program While it is desirable to offer residents the opp ortunity to recycle as many materials as possible, door – to – door collection is often not the most economical method for collecting certain materials. Materials often selected for collection through drop – off programs rather than door – to – door collection incl ude motor oil, tires, batteries (household and lead – acid), white goods, scrap metal, corrugated containers, office paper, and various types of plastic. Sometimes, drop – off programs are also used to establish an exchange location for articles such as used clothing, furniture, and toys. Drop – Off Programs Can Be Used to Serve Residents Not Included in Door – to – Door Collection Programs Recycling program officials may decide that it is more cost – effective to provide recycling services to some residents via dr op – off facilities

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10 than through door – to – door collection. For example, in counties with a wide range of population densities, recycling officials may choose to serve urban and suburban areas with a door – to – door collection program while strategically placing drop – off facilities in rural areas for maximum accessibility. Similarly, a community may elect to use drop – off facilities to serve residents of mid – size and high – rise multifamily housing. Drop – Off Programs Can Provide an Additional Opportunity for Recyc ling Drop – off recycling programs provide residents with recycling opportunities in addition to door – to – frequency is bi – weekly or perhaps even monthly, thereby increasing recyclables storage requirements. Long intervals between pickups may discourage participation by people who do not have the needed storage space. Drop – off locations would be essential, for example, in a program that only collects recyclables on a monthly basis. Implementing a door – to – door recyclables collection program will affect the types of remaining materials that are delivered to drop – off facilities, and these changes can affect the costs and revenues of the drop – off program. For example, aluminum beverage containers usually provide the largest revenues to recycling programs. Aluminum can collection in the door – to – door collection program will divert this valuable material from existing drop – off facilities. Also, other, less valuable materials not collected in the door – to – door collection program are often separated by residents and delivered to drop – off facilities, thus increasing the drop – program planning needs to ensure that funding for both the doo r – to – door and drop – off elements of the recycling program are properly integrated to sustain the viability of both. *Adapted and reprinted in part from: Integrated Collection System: Developing and implementing a Coordinated Strategy by: Wayne P. Pferdehirt, P.E., AICP, UW – Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, Madison, Wisconsin SECTION 4

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11 QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL BUYERS OF RECYCABLES When meeting with recycling companies interested in purchasing your collected materials, there are a number of issues you should discuss, including: What types of recyclables will the company accept and how must they be prepared? Recycling companies might request that the material be baled, compacted, shredded, gran ulated, or loose. Generally, recyclers will offer a better price for compacted or baled material. Compacting or densifying materials before transporting also can be a cost – effective method of lowering hauling costs for the buyer. What contract terms wil l the buyer require? Discuss the length of the potential contract with the buyer. Shorter contracts provide greater flexibility to take advantage of rising prices, while longer contracts provide more security in an unsteady market. Often, buyers favor l ong – term contracts to help ensure a consistent supply of materials. The term of payment should be discussed as well, since some buyers pay after delivery of each load, while others set up a periodic schedule. Also, ask whether the buyer would be willing to allow mutually agreed on changes to the contract over time. The buyer might want some flexibility as well; in many cases, the buyer will be willing to pay a higher rate in return for a stable supply of quality materials. Ask for a monthly purchase ord er. Who provides transportation? If the buyer does not provide transportation services, you will need to locate a hauler to transport materials to the buyer. The Yellow Pages, local waste haulers, and state or local waste management authorities can help provide this information. What is the schedule of collections? If the recycling company offers to provide transportation, check on the frequency of collections. Some businesses might prefer to have the hauler be on call, picking up recyclables when a c ertain weight or volume has been reached. Larger companies might generate enough recyclable material to warrant a set schedule of collections. What are the maximum allowable contaminant levels and what is the procedure for dealing with rejected loads? I nquire what the buyer has established as maximum allowable levels for contaminants. If these requirements are not met, the buyer might reject a contaminated load and send it back to your company. The buyer also might dispose of a contaminated load in a l andfill or combustor, which can result in your company incurring additional cost. Get the grade standards in writing. Are there minimum quantity requirements? Find out whether the buyer requires a minimum weight or volume before accepting delivery. If quantity requirements are difficult to meet, consider working with neighboring organizations. By working together, it might be possible to collect recyclables in

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