Sioux Falls, SD
The push to go green will end up costing more money for garbage haulers who aren't pulling their load when it comes to recycling
A new ordinance that goes into effect this week, will charge them more for dumping into the Sioux Falls landfill.
Tons of trash can't conceal all of the plastic and aluminum recyclables that still end up at the Sioux Falls landfill.
"It's very discouraging, those are materials that can be re-used, are cheaper for society, it's better for the economy, it's better for the environment. That's why we're striving to make it better," Sioux Falls Environmental Manager Bob Kappel said.
The city hopes to do that by tacking on an extra dollar to the tipping fee for companies that fail to recycle 12 percent of their trash. Haulers who do play by the recycling rules, like RBS Sanitation, hope the new ordinance levels the field amid the mounds of trash.
"I think it will prompt people to recycle a little bit and get things going, you know," Tom McKnelly of RBS Sanitation said.
Some people think companies that will have to pay that extra penalty because they're not meeting the recycling goal will simply pass that added cost onto their customers.
"It's going to take a bigger investment on their part as far as time and money and it's going to raise their rates eventually. Something's going to pay for it, so I would imagine that's how they're going to do it," McKnelly said.
But the city doesn't think customers will end up paying more.
"We have haulers that exceed 30 percent recycling and their business models don't require much higher rates than those haulers that are lower recycling rates," Kappel said.
Haulers who still aren't reaching the 12 percent recycling threshold after three years could lose their license altogether. The city hopes the new ordinance will get the recycling slackers to fall in line, just like the trash in the back of their truck.
But the new recycling ordinance isn't all about punishment. Haulers who go above and beyond the recycling goals will get a $1 rebate on their tipping fees.