Sacramento County Dumped 290 Tons of Recyclables in a Landfill
According to the Sacramento Bee, about one-third of all recyclables collected by Sacramento County, estimated to be 290 tons, was packed into trucks and dumped at a county landfill for one week in early February. The amount of recyclables taken to the landfill totaled about 8.5 percent of the 3,400 tons of recyclables collected monthly. It appears that the reason the recyclables were dumped at a landfill originated with one of the three recycling contractors. Doug Sloan, director of the county’s Department of Waste Management and Recycling, stated,
The last thing I want to do is put curbside recycling in the landfill. Their line was down for the week. We got squeezed. It’s not what we want to do. The breakdown of these facilities is pretty rare.
According to Sloan, other contractors don’t have additional capacity to take additional recycling. Due to rules limiting the storage of recyclables at the transfer station to 48 hours, Sloan claims that there was no place to keep them. Unfortunately, the greater issue with recyclables comes as their value has decreased and municipalities across the West Coast are being pressured by China to produce recycling loads with fewer contaminants. Sacramento County is looking at a swing from its recycling earning $1 million to it costing the county $1 million annually. Hopefully, Sacramento County is able to learn from its mishap with the recyclables and other counties are able to figure out what to do in the long term about recyclables.