Expect some changes in recycling later this year.
You will no longer be asked to put glass bottles and jars in the recycling containers in unincorporated Polk County.
The change will begin Oct. 1.
There has been some pushback from the public on the end to glass recylcing, but that pushback ignores the economics of recycling.
Recyclable materials are commodities the same as oil, oranges, and any other product whose prices are set by the market.
The standards for what materials end users will accept is changing, too.
Glass breaks and contaminates loads of other materials, making them less marketable.
Elsewhere in Florida, the market is causing other changes.
In Orange County, county officials are now charging cities to process recyclables at a rate higher than it would cost them to simply dispose of it in the county landfill, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Orange officials cite the lower market prices for recyclable materials for the move.
Some prices have recovered somewhat from the low prices that were being paid during the economic recession.
Others, such as iron, are half what they were a few years ago when there was heavy demand from China before its economy ran into problems.
Despite the changes, recycling generally uses less energy than producing new products from raw materials.
If you haven’t been recycling, consider starting. It is worth the effort and will become more convenient with the advent of recycling carts instead of recycling bins.
There’s still no word from county officials about turning in the old recycling bins. Stay tuned.