Vendor Recycling Contract Tips: Save with Presorting

The Secret To Negotiating A Recycling Contract

We are going to let you in on a little tip that will save you many when you renew your contract with your recycling vendor: presort the recycling bin.

Presorting Is Easy

Right now you are probably doing what’s called “single-stream recycling” or “commingled recycling”. All your recyclables–paper, plastic, aluminum–go into one big recycling bin. The contents are picked up by your recycling vendor who will then sort them into separate streams based on content.

However instead of putting out one recycling bin consider putting out several, one for each material. So you’d have a plastic bin, a paper bin, a glass bin and so on. You could also use a single recycle container with multiple openings such as a hole for soda cans and a slot for sheets of paper. As long as you keep each package of waste separate you are doing some of the work the recycling company does. However you aren’t doing this just to be a nice person. You are doing it because it makes you a more valuable customer to your recycling vendor.

Presorting Saves Money

Is your recycling vendor picking up your recyclables out of the goodness of their heart? Heck no. They are doing it because recyclable materials are a valuable commodity. They sell the recyclables to plants that use them to make products that are sold to other companies or to consumers. They may be charging you for the pickup but the real money is in selling to the recycle plants. The trash in your recycling bin is treasure to someone else.

You’re in business so you understand one way to increase profit is by cutting costs. If the recycler has to take the time to divide a commingled waste stream into separate streams, each being sold to a different plant, then that costs them money. However if you do the work for them then you are cutting their costs. They should pass some of that savings on to you by giving you a better rate on your next recycling pickup contract.

Presorting Helps The Environment

It’s not all about profit. The sad fact is not everything that goes into your recycling bin actually gets recycled. There are several reasons why that’s the case but one of the biggest is cross contamination. When a product ends up in the wrong stream it can cause problems downstream ranging from batch contamination that turns recyclables into trash, to equipment damage that could shut down a plant.

It’s a lot easier to sort at the recycling bin level than to sort a massive stream of commingled waste. Taking that extra second to toss a can in the correct bin makes the entire recycling process more efficient and more cost effective. It leads to less waste, more recycling and is better for the environment.

Ask your recycling contractor what kind of price discount you can get for presorting your recycling bin.

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