- Casella Waste Systems — which serves six northeastern states from northwest Pennsylvania to eastern Maine — recently added a sustainability/recycling adjustment fee to the bills of residential customers. The monthly fee fluctuates and is a reflection in part of commodities pricing; some months, customers will receive a credit on their accounts.
- The sustainability/recycling adjustment fee is meant to even out the ebbs and flows of markets and commodity prices that have led many in the recycling industry to grumble about their inability to make money consistently off of recycling.
- Casella’s Vice President of Finance Joe Fusco said of the decision, “We’ve all been participating in a fantasy that the revenue you get from the sale of commodities will cover the cost of recycling... But the idea that recycling is free is Homer Simpson arithmetic."
Crying foul about commodities pricing has become commonplace for some in the industry these days. There are arguments that favor a need to create more stable markets for recyclables, including the idea that more government intervention is necessary to support a sagging industry. Of course, others in the business say such notions are pretense, and that recycling can be profitable.