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Trash-cost increase expected; YES! offers options

YES! storefront, East Arlington.

Liz Reisberg of Shawnee Road, a Precinct 10 resident with an interest in recycling, offers options to town trash issues. Photo by Ceilidh Yurenka.

Trash: There’s a lot of it. Picking up Arlington’s weekly trash represents a significant cost to the town’s budget, $4 million annually for collection and disposal. Arlington produces 12,000 tons of trash every year, about 1,200 pounds per household.

So far, there has been no cost to Arlington residents for processing any recyclable materials, as the hauling company could sell the materials. However, the value of recyclable materials has dropped, and as a result no longer covers the cost of processing (sorting and selling) the material.

Because the market for recyclable materials is not as strong as it once was, the cost of processing materials is being passed on to municipalities. This means that Arlington will soon be paying more for collecting and processing recyclables in addition to the cost for our trash to be incinerated.

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