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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Austin discovers garbage in, debt up



For some reason, socialists like to play with garbage. They keep pushing recycling because somehow a nation of over 3 million square miles will someday run out of space for landfills.

They keep saying one man's trash is another man's treasure, but one man's trash usually is everyone else's trash. Some things do have a recycle market. Aluminum cans, for instance. But glass is a drug on the market, so much so that in West Virginia, recycling places encourage people not to bring it.

Austin, Texas, thought it was going to become rich off its recycling program. Instead, it spent more than $3 for every $2 it brought in. Demand for garbage is low, which is why people throw it away.

So what is Austin's solution to lagging prices? Increase supply. Apparently despite being home to one of the best universities in the land, no one at Auston City Hall ever cracked an economics book.

From the Associated Press:
In the latest fiscal year, a review of city records shows Austin got a shade under $3 million for its recyclables, even as processing costs hovered around $4.8 million. The city lost $1.9 million last fiscal year and a $2.7 million in the two previous years as recyclable materials have fetched less on the open market than the cost to process them.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that city officials say if more residents recycled more, it would be easier to profitably sell a higher volume of material locally, rather than ship it elsewhere in the state, country or even overseas.
Why not save time and energy by giving the operation away and allowing someone to open a Taco Bell at teh site? It will at least generate taxes.

24 comments:

  1. 'But glass is a drug on the market'

    I think it's 'drag'.

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    Replies
    1. Drug. It's a very old idiom of obscure origins, but it's definitely drug.


      http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-dru2.htm

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    2. Austin's been shooting up and smoking socialism as their drug of choice.

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    3. I stand corrected! Thanks jms!

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  2. As a refugee from the Peoples' Democratic Republic of Austin this does not surprise me. Socialism is efficient only when it comes to butchering people.

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  3. Penn & Teller
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAnG9Cb7IBQ

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  4. There's an easy solution those Libtards haven't considered: burn the damned trash and generate power from it. Texas, don't let your trash go to waste!

    "Honolulu’s H-POWER waste-to-energy plant processes over 600,000 tons of waste annually, producing up to 10% of Oahu's electricity. All of the waste collected from our homes has been taken to H-POWER since it began operation in 1990.  Most residential and general commercial trash is disposed of at H-POWER. Noncombustible construction and demolition (C&D) debris and industry wastes go directly to landfill."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Hawaii is honestly making money off a trash burner, then hats off to them. But that would be quite unusual nationally. Trash no surprise is wet, it has all sorts of unexpected material in it, and is very difficult to burn effectively. It also creates a corrosive environment inside the utility furnace that damages equipment and is the cause of constant expensive repairs and unplanned for downtime.

      Now Hawaii being a mountainous island I can see that they might have a problem fining cheap land to bury trash in. But for the rest of the country that isn't the case. Of course NIMBYism raises its ugly head to complicate the issue. Bury the da&^$* stuff and be done with it.

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    2. Landfills are put in valleys. They are Nature-made dumps. The beauty of the H-power plant is that it sorts trash machanically. I don't recycle because I don't have to, not while the sorting and recycling is done for me by machines. What can be recycled gets picked out before the rest is burned.

      There is an up-front cost to build the plant, roughly $250 million as I recall. But as long as governments are using taxpayer dollars to subsidize private renewable energy projects like solar and wind, they have no good excuse for not building trash-to-energy plants like H-Power.

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  5. As you know, Don,I serve a small Ohio town as Village Administrator. When I was promoted to the position in 1998, a couple of Council members were all gung ho about residential recycling and how much revenue we could get. I got old-fashioned with them, and drew up on a chalk board man-hours and equipment cost versus potential income. They folded that tent and I never heard another word about it. We do have a residential trash contract where the contractor will pick up recycled containers curbside when the trucks pick up the trash, but we certainly don't pay any extra for it. Heck, you can't GIVE away glass, paper, and cardboard in today's market.

    Industrial recycling, however, makes both economic and environmental sense. They are dealing usually with more valuable byproducts and much larger volumes that can be hauled from one place by the truck load.

    Residential recycling, however, is just pie-in-the-sky stupidity.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You know who the biggest recyclers are? Meat industry. From leather to detergent to, well, meat, they use every bit of the animal -- they say everything in the pig is used except his squeal.

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    2. Don,
      When were driving thru Arkansas one time we passed an open dump truck, a big one, that was packed to the top with what seemed to be animal entrails. Geez did that stink. It's probably the most unpleasant sight we've ever seen. Maybe it was Capitalism in action but I think they could at least use a covered truck...heh.

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    3. How is using all of the animal recycling, Don? I could see if you meant recycling the waste of people who have just eaten the pigs. It's just that the animal is efficiently used, so long as people never read hot-dog wrappers. (That is not recycling).

      The most recycled major products are automobiles. Go to a junkyard and see what is left on some of these cars (the internet has helped a lot, as many parts are listed, probably on the car, and taken off when a buyer needs it). There is nothing but steel left and a bit of foam and glass, and the steel will go back to the mill eventually.

      BTW, I came here from instapundit.

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  6. If it's worth recycling drunks and drug addicts will do it for you for free

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  7. I recycle, and so do quite a few of my neighbors. I KNOW my waste collection company loses money on recycling, because they charge me an extra $6/month for the "privilege". I've already paid, through property taxes, for one landfill that was designed for a city of 300k, but now serves an area with a population of 500k. Every pound I recycle means a pound that doesn't go in that landfill. That puts the time off for me to have to buy another landfill. Prices of land in this area keep going up. It's more than doubled in the 25 years we've lived here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you sure every thing you put out for recycling stays out of the landfill? I keep trying to tell my wife, just because it has a recycling symbol on it doesn't mean our facility will recycle it.

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    2. Most of that "recycling" is quietly sent to the landfill. Only those things that they can make money gets recycled.

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  8. Austin's city government does lots of stupid stuff, most of which is covered, if you will, by the city's rocking good growth. Some day, it will turn in to a mess. Regardless, there is one huge flaw in your post, Don. Nobody here wants to eat at Taco Bell. Not gonna happen in a town with Taco Deli and Torchy's. No to mention Donut Taco Palace!

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    Replies
    1. Donut Taco Palace!!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXMLkGOt7Iw

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    2. Torchy's is the best FastMex on the planet!

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  9. “The Austin American-Statesman reports that city officials say if more residents recycled more, it would be easier to profitably sell a higher volume of material locally, rather than ship it elsewhere in the state, country or even overseas.”

    This sentence is just begging for a reporter-type person to do some follow up questioning of the city officials, such as;
    - Who is paying for the material to be shipped elsewhere, and what is the shipping rate per ton? If the shipping costs were eliminated from the equation, would the recycling program be profitable?
    - Who are the potential local buyers? How much more recycling volume would the city have to provide for the local buyers to be interested in buying? How does the city intend to generate or provide the additional volume?
    - How does the overall cost of the recycling program compare to putting the same volume of material in a landfill? From a purely economic perspective, which is most efficient?

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  10. "This sentence is just begging for a reporter-type person..."

    The Austin paper doesn't do much actual journalism. I check it in the morning to see if Interstate 35 is closed or not, but that's about all it's good for.

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  11. The old joke is told about a retailer who sold products below cost, losing a little money on each sale. “I make it up on volume,” the retailer said.

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  12. Is this what they thought, "Supply Side Economics," was?

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