EPA 910/9-91-008
                    Decisionmaker's Guide to
                            Recycling Plastics
                                        Prepared for

       The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
          Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling Section
        U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region X
                               Solid Waste Program
                                      December 1990
                       Printed on Recycled Paper


                               labile of Contents
                        Decision Process  ...2
         Current Status of Plastic Recycling  .. .3
                    A Successful Program  .. .4
                    Why Collect Plastics?  ...5

About Plastics
               What Are Plastics Used For?  .. .6
                          Leading Resins  ...7
              What Plastics Are Recycled?  ...8

                  Who Buys Used Plastics?  ...9
               What Is Plastics Processing?  ...9
             Markets For Northwest Plastics  ... 10
                   Meeting Specifications  ... 11
                        Markets Change  ...11

Collecting Used Plastics
                      Whether To Collect  ...12
                         What To Collect  ...13,14
                          How To Collect  ...15,16,17
Planning For Recovery Levels
                     Estimating Recovery ... 18,19
                            Worksheet!  ...19
                   Recovery Assumptions ...20,21
                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

         Estimating Collection Costs
                                         Introduction  ...22
                                         Cost Factors  ...23,24,25
                              Capital / Start-Up Costs  .. .26
                                         Worksheet 2  ...27
                             Annual Operating Costs  ...28
                                         Worksheets  ...29
                                         Cost Offsets  ...30
                                         Worksheet 4  ...30
                               Summary Worksheet 5  ...31

         Policy Issues                              ...32,33

         For More Information                   ...34,35,36
The Deeisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics was prepared under a grant from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Region X , Solid Waste Program. The project was
coordinated by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The document was researched and written by Resource Integration Systems, Ltd., and
Waste Matters Consulting, Portland, OR, with  design and layout by Becker Projects,
Portland, OR.
Portions of this document may be reproduced upon request. Please credit the Oregon
Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection;Agency
when using information contained in this document.
                                              Declslonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                         Should your community collect used plastics for
                         recycling?  If so, what is the best way to do it?

                         There are good reasons to collect plastics, but there
                         are important decisions to make. It can become an
                         expensive proposition if program planners take the
                         wrong approach.
Whv Recycle'Mastics?
      To save resources andreduee the waste stream. Plastics total 1 - ^percent of the
      municipal waste stream by weight, and about $55 percent by volume.
      To meet public demand for plastics recycling and to attract other recyclable
       ateriajs^^Clolleej^ng plastics can get more people involved in waste reduction
      programs,'               "          ,
      Even, possibly, to msSm money, Certain plastics fetch the highest market
      prices for semp commodities* Some programs say.plasMes improve their
      program finances,  f	                     „            ^	„	
                              An increasing number of recycling programs in
                          Oregon and across the U.S. collect used plastics. Nation-
                          wide, curbside collection of at least one type of plastic is
                          available to as many as 3 million households. Hundreds
                          of drop-off centers and buy-back operations also accept

                             But plastics can take up a lot of room on a truck or
                          at a depot without amounting to significant weight.  A
                          cubic yard of loose plastic jugs and bottles weighs 5 per-
                          cent of what newspapers or glass containers occupying
                          the same volume weigh. Transporting loose plastic con-
                          tainers can run up the costs-especially if the program
                          doesn't take steps to avoid unwanted, unsellable items.
                          The light, bulky character of plastics forces program
                          planners to choose approaches that will control  the costs
                          of collection and marketing.

                             This guide is intended to help decisionmakers decide
                          whether and how to collect used plastics from residences.
                          The guide also provides worksheets to estimate collection
                          costs.  It includes information on finding markets, pre-
                          paring plastics for market and lists program develop-
                          ment information sources.

                                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                            ! Introduction
                                           .Decision Process
                    Identify Markets (See pages 9-11)
                      S  available, reliable for what resins
                      S  distance
                      S  specifications
                         price paid
                 Identify Target Plastics (See Worksheet 1)
                   j resin types
                   j quantities available
                   j quantities likely to be recovered by:
           Identify Space Requirements  (See Worksheet 1)

  Estimate Costs (See Worksheets 2,3,4,5)
        (model several options for types of packaging
        collected, methods of collection, costs of capital,
     j  Absolute cost to add plastics
     S  Increase in average cost/ton for all materials
Evaluate Risks/Benefits
  j Which plastics can be sold
  j What costs will be incurred
    How will plastics recycling fit with other services
                     j Whether to collect
                     S What to collect
                     S How to collect
                     ^ Program plan and budget
                                      Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                   .Current Status of Plastic Recycling	
markets exist
in many urban
areas for
recycled plastic
The plastics
industry has
assistance to
local recycling
    Nationwide, curbside recycling collection of at least
one type of plastic is available to about 3 million house-
holds. Hundreds of drop-off centers and buy-back opera-
tions also accept plastics.

    Most programs take only one or two types of plastic
containers. Milk/water^juice jugs and soft-drink bottles
are by far the mesl e&mmen itesis golleeted. They are
easily recognized, san be aeeuii»i!&$£d m, large quanti-
ties. Many areas of the £f J3. have established markets
nearby.  DefJeadB^eii available Ui&rJcets;, some pro-
grams accept dther scrap plastics*

    la Q&5g&n, at least seven curbside programs and
more tfaaa 28 tfcop-off depots accept milk Jags,, Several
drop; sites also take dairy tubs and detexjgQ&ta&cl sham-
posfjoffcleg* Ag a result of the Oregon Bottle Bill, Citizens
hare a mmmient means to return their plastic
           to stores, retrieving the 5-cent
    It Is esMamtedtibat^m 1990^
much as !Jhdai!iiimF3«3ids o
cent of all plasMc lased t» convey a prodf^t is the con-
sumer. More ifaas half of this quantity was soft-drink
bottles returned through the deport system.

    Plastic resin manufacturers have begun to put more
resources into recycling, hi Oregon and elsewhere, they
have helped pay for the equipment used to collect and
process their products. The plastics industry has also
expanded markets for products made with recycled
                                                Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics


                                               A Successful Program
                           -  Has a reliable market nearby:
                                  Don't collect it if you can't find someone
                                  who wants it. You'll end up throwing it
                                  away and running up costs.
Be sure you can
provide what the          •  Plans for enough space:
market wants.                   Lisht'bulky Plastics take UP room on
                                  collection vehicles and at storage sites. If
                                  your plastics are 4 percent of a truckload by
                                  weight, they can be 30 percent by volume.
                                  You may want to consider shredding or
                                  compacting your plastics at the time of

                           •  Meets market specifications:
                                  The public can't always distinguish one
                                  plastic from another, and markets want
                                  specific types. Often, markets specify "no
The less residents                caps or labels"- Be sure vou can Provide
                                  what the market wants, or that the market
have to do to                     ^ take what you collect
prepare plastics
for recycling,              •  Educates and promotes:
the better the                    The public has to learn what plastics you
participation                     want and how to prepare them.  Collection
  .-,-,,                             staff has to understand the importance of
                                  meeting market specifications.

                           •  Keeps it convenient and consistent:
                                  Your list of recyclable plastics and prepara-
                                  tion requirements should remain as steady
                                   and simple as possible. The less residents
                                  have to do to  prepare the material—remov-
                                  ing labels, for example~the better the par-
                                   ticipation will be.
                                              Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                    in Introduction
                                                 Why Collect Plastics?_
                        1.  The public demands it.
                             Recycling is widely perceived as an essential re-
                             sponse to solid waste and environmental problems.
                             A great deal of attention hais been focused on plastics
                             as one of the least-recycled materials in the waste
                             stream. Information hotlines report that one of the
                             most common calls they get is from citizens asking
                             where to recycle plastics.

                        2.  Reduce the wastestream.
                             Plastics make up 7 to 9 percent of most municipal
                             wastestreams by weight. Total volume is about 25
Based on revenue           percent.  Although the plastic containers commonly
per ton  plastics            targeted for recycling may contribute less than 2
     ,  '      ,               percent of garbage by weight, their recovery contri-
are tne second               butes to waste reduction and the attainment of recy-
most valuable               cling goals.
material,  after         3.  Save non-renewable resources.
aluminum                  Plastics are made frompetroleumandpetroleumby-
                             products. This resource is limited, and there is
                             increasing opposition to its use for one-time, throw-
                             away packaging. Recyclingis seen as a way to retain
                             the advantages of plastic while preventing its waste.

                        4.  Educate the public.
                             Collecting plastics helps make people attend to
                             their consuming and disposing habits.  It strength-
                             ens participation in recycliing programs and can
                             increase recovery of other materials.

                        5.  It can be done.
                             Active markets exist for several types of plastic.
                             Successful recycling programs have been demon-
                             strated in the Northwest and elsewhere.
                                               Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                   About Plastics
All plastics are
not the same.
One-third of all
plastics in the
wastestream are
thirds  if dispos-
able  dishware,
garbage sacks,
storage bags
and films
are included.
                                          What Are Plastics Used For?_
    The word "plastics" covers more than a hundred
different resin grades and blends that have varying
chemical compositions, physical characteristics and uses.
However, a half dozen types make up 70 percent of all
plastics~and 95 percent of all packaging.

    Over the last 20 years, plastics have replaced glass,
metals, paper and wood for many packaging and product
applications.  Car and plane parts, signs, furniture,
pipe, toys, luggage, clothing, handles, inks, paint, appli-
ance casings, personal care products and eyeglasses are
only a few of the ever-increasing number of products
made from plastic.

      As a packaging material, plastic resins offer sev-
eral cost and marketing advantages: they are light, hard
to break, moldable, inexpensive and can be produced in
all colors.  Some can be as clear as glass.

    Because of these advantages, plastic packages and
containers have replaced other traditional materials for
specific uses, such as:
    •  glass bottles for milk, shampoo and large-volume
      soft drinks;
    •  cardboard-and-metal containers for motor oil;
    •  paper bags for produce and retail carry-home
Even paperboard beverage containers, such as milk
cartons, are coated with plastic.
                                                  ALL PLASTIC PACKAGING BY RESIN
                                                Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                     About Plastics:
                                                    	Leading Resins
    •  Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETe) - soft-drink bottles, bottles for
liquor, cosmetics, toiletries, food and Pharmaceuticals; ovenable trays; boil bags; blis-
ter-pack, cups and food trays.

    •  High-density polyethylene (HDPE) — containers for milk, yogurt, ice cream,
cottage cheese, spreads, oil, bleach, antifreeze, automatic transmission fluid, detergent,
shampoo, Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paint and other products; beverage bottle base-
cups and sacks for goods and garbage.

    •  Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) ~ clear food packaging film and forms, closures,
blister-pack, tape, bottles for shampoo and other household items.

    •  Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) ~ usually a film, used for wrap, sacks and
bags (garbage, storage, take-out, bakery, frozen food, candy, clothing and meat); can
lids and milk bottle caps.

    •  Polypropylene (PP) ~ containers, tubs and bottles for yogurt, cream cheese,
margarine, medicine, snack foods, confections and condiments; screw-on or snap-on
caps; and bags, sacks, film and wrap.

    •  Polystyrene (PS) — tubs for cottage cheese, yogurt and spreads; also, vending
and portion cups, lids, clear containers for dairy, bakery and take-out food.

    •  Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) — egg cartons, food trays, meat/seafood/poultry
trays, single-service plates, hinged containers, cups, packing fill, shapes and contain-
      4 -LDPE
                         PLASTIC CONTAINER CODING SYSTEM

Bottles, dairy tubs, sacks and other kinds of packag-
ing can be made with any of several resins. To assist
recycling, many packaging manufacturers place an
identifying code number, usually on the bottom of
the container. The code number appears inside the
recycling symbol. Production sind lot numbers may
appear, but will not be inside the symbol.
                                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                   About Plastics
                                         What Plastics Are Recycled?.
  Almost no
  programs collect
  durable plastic
  products, such as
  appliance casings
  and housewares.
  PP make up a
  group of resins--
  polyolefins— that
  can be blended to
  make products
  such as plastic
    Almost all plastics manufacturers recover scrap
from their production lines and reuse it. They know
exactly what material they are dealing with, and they
don't have to worry about contamination that would ruin
their products.

    Residential recycling programs have to limit
the plastic items they collect. If programs collected
all the plastic objects available, or even a large portion,
the volume and variety would overwhelm them.  Much of
the material would have to be thrown away. Very few
markets accept a mixture of plastic resins. Even experts
often cannot readily identify the plastic used to make
some products. Different resins may be layered together,
and other materials may be bonded to the plastic.

    Most residential collection programs focus on one or
two types of containers that can be identified easily and
accumulated in large quantities. Typically, only milk/
juice/water jugs (HDPE) and soft-drink bottles (PET) fit
these criteria. However, some programs have found
markets for other types of rigid containers and even
films. These programs provide the public with clear,
illustrated instructions and even brand names.  Program
staff cull out unacceptable items.
                                                     RESINS IN PLASTIC PACKAGING
  Nearly two-
  thirds of all
  rigid packaging
  containers are
  made with PET
  and HDPE.
PP     PS     EPS   Other

                       Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

Most manufac-
turers buy
recycled resin
pellets, not used
Recycled plastics
can only compete
with virgin res-
ins if their price
is kept low
and they are
extremely pure.
                                             .Who Buys Used Plastics?.
    Collection programs typically sell their plastics to
brokers, processors or manufacturers Some of these
markets accept, but do not pay for., used plastics.

    Brokers ship the plastics to processors. A broker
may bale or granulate the plastics if needed, but often
does little more than handle sales. The granulation
process reduces plastics into small pieces usually about
one-quarter inch in size.

    Processors clean the material to an extremely high
purity, remelt it and form it into pellets for sale to manu-
facturers. A few processors also make consumer prod-

    Product manufacturers are the end market for
recycled plastics.

	What is plastics processing?	
    Plastics processors usually do not depend solely on
post-consumer scrap. They also handle industrial re-
jects, trimmings and oversupply. Processors often take a
fee to clean and return scrap to the manufacturer who
generated it.

    Cleaning is a costly process, involving the removal of
glue, paper, metals, dirt, food residues and unwanted
resins. Processors must inspect loads, remove unaccept-
able items,  shred the material, wash it and screen out
paper fragments. The resulting mixture often contains
metal and several resins. Many processors separate out
the resin they want by placing the mixture in a water/
salt solution that has a controlled density. Resins with
lower density, such as HDPE, float and are skimmed
away. Heavier materials, such as metals, PET and PVC,
sink. The clean flakes are then dried, remelted and
extruded as thin strands that are chopped into pellets.
Finally, the pellets are shipped to manufacturers.

     Contamination can ruin the efforts of processors,
which is why they buy only high-quality loads.
                                                Declslonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                           e Markets
                                         Markets for Northwest Plastics.
  Information on
  national markets
  can be found
  through sources
  listed at the back
  of this document.
    Reliable markets exist in the Northwest for post-
consumer packages such as:
    •  HDPE "natural" jugs, containers and bottles
      (used for milk, water, juice and some dairy prod-
      ucts) ;
    •  HDPE colored containers (oil, detergent, bleach
      and margarine);
    .  PET soft drink bottles (clear or green).

    There are limited, less established markets for PS,
EPS, PVC, PP, and LDPE. One company, Wilsey & Ham
Pacific, is attempting to develop a facility in the Portland
area that would accept mixed plastics and use them to
make products, such as benches and fenceposts.

    Some collection programs will accept; plastics from
smaller collectors. The Oregon Department of Environ-
mental Quality (see listing of information sources at the
back of this guide) can provide names of local programs.

    Table 1 lists buyers of post-consumer plastics as of
December 1990. All are processors or brokers.
Buyers for Post-Consumer
Oregon Plastics
All States Plastics Dan Rohrbach
1 1 09 S. Grace Ave.
Battleground, WA (206) 687-77 1 1
Denton Plastics Jeff Walter
4427 NE 158th Ave.
Portland, OR (503) 257-9945
Hee Company Hee Kwon
4555 SE 122nd Ave.
Portland, OR (503) 760-0361
Wastech Sam Culpepper
701 N. Hunt
Portland, OR (503) 285-5261
C & M Recovery Harold Cheeks
PO Box 663
Vancouver, WA (206) 737-1646
Interstate Plastic John Kwon
4300 Columbia Way, Suite B
Vancouver, WA (206) 694- 1 753
Partek Corp. Bob Gaudet
PO Box 1387
Vancouver, WA (206) 695-1 777
" ':-::: . _."" /^ ^""atfr/











                       Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                             i Markets
  Most buyers
  insist that the
  material they
  accept be sepa-
  rated by resin
  type prior to
  Watch your
  markets and
  confirm them
  prior to shipping.
                                                Meeting Specifications
    Markets specify the quantity, quality and form of
delivery for used plastics. These specifications assure
that supplies suit their business and technology. Buyers
will not accept shipments that do not meet their specifi-
cations. On occasion, they may take a substandard load
at a lower price, but a collector should not count on this.

    A collection program could easily lose money on
plastics recycling by shipping unacceptable loads, paying
the return freight, and sending the material to a landfill.

    A common requirement is that material be baled or
granulated.  Some buyers want only baled material, and
they may insist on bales-weighing a minimum amount,
such as 700 Ibs.  Collection programs wishing to sell
shredded (granulated) material might be required to
send a sample to the buyer so it can be checked for qual-

    Minimal load requirements are common-such
as five tons or more. Many buyers serving Oregon are
more flexible about load size. Even so, it can pay to
combine your loads with those of other programs, which
reduces transportation costs.

	Markets Change	
    Recycling markets change, said a collector must stay
informed on market developments. New companies open
for business, other companies fold. New materials are
accepted, other ones are dropped. Some buyers accept
labels and caps, but they could set new standards. Pro-
gram equipment purchases, operating procedures and
success depend on this knowledge.

    Always confirm the market.  Call it, visit it and
talk to its other suppliers. Does it accept loads consis-
tently? Does it live by its written standards? Does it
pay in a timely fashion?
                                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                         Collecting Used Plastics
                                                      Whether To Collect.
       Decisionmakers must weigh the opportunities and challenges of plastics
       collection. Page 5 of this guide gives five reasons to collect plastics and
       page 4 lists five criteria for success.  But each program must determine
       whether it can make the commitments that success requires. Here are the
       special challenges of plastics collection, along with solutions that have
       enabled programs to succeed.
Challenge: There are many
different plastic resins which
are difficult to tell apart, yet
most markets  buy only spe-
cific types.
Solution: Limit the type of items collected to those that
can be readily explained and identified. Give clear, re-
peated instructions and reasons to the public and to col-
lection and sorting crews. Pay close attention to remov-
ing unwanted items.
Challenge: Special prepara-
tion may be required of the
public and the collection pro-
gram to remove contaminants.
Solution: Educate the public in clear, simple terms to
"Rinse and Remove Labels." Seek more flexible mar-
kets that accept labels, etc.
Challenge: Markets for used
plastics are not as well-estab-
lished as those for glass, met-
als and paper. Prices, specifi-
cations and payment sched-
ules often vary.
Solution: Visit the market and confirm its reliability
with other suppliers. Stay up-to-date on specifications.
Also, increased supplies are likely to strengthen and
stabilize buyers. The demand for material and invest-
ment in markets are expanding.
Challenge: Plastics are light
and bulky. They take up more
room per unit of weight than
other materials. Plastics that
weigh 4 percent of materials
collected may occupy 30 per-
cent of the space.
Solution: Plan for increased capacity at the beginning
of a program and when purchasing new equipment. In-
expensive curbside alternatives include cages and bag-
holders. Ask the public to "step on it." Also, mechanical
densifiers are available for on-route or stationary use.
Challenge:  Plastics collec-
tion can cost more per ton than
other materials.  Additional
vehicles or other equipment
may be needed.  Sorting and
preparing plastics for market
can be labor-intensive.
Solution: Seek cooperative processing and marketing
arrangements with other programs. Use existing labor,
equipment and space.  Plan, ahead: It costs less to
include plastics from the start than to add them later.
The relatively few tons of plastic collected won't in-
crease overall program costs significantly.  Finally,
with markets paying $150 to $300 per ton, plastics are
the second most valuable recyclable material, after
                     Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                        Collecting Used Plastics
  The key factor
  in choosing to
  collect any used
  material is
  whether it has
  a market.
  Look at the types
  of plastics other
  collectors in your
  area are han-
                                                        .What To Collect.
    Until a stable market develops for mixtures of differ-
 ent plastics, it would be wise to limit the selection to one
 or two items that:
    • can be sold or given away;
    • the public and sorters can recognize easily;
    • will not overwhelm the program's capacity to
      collect, store and prepare for market.

    A drop-off system has lower equipment and operat-
 ing costs than a curbside program and can afford to
 accept more resin types.  However, the same guidelines
 apply. Several drop-off centers in Oregon recently dis-
 continued all plastic items excepit milk jugs, due to mar-
 ket and contamination problems.

     The market may or may not pay, but should have a
 record of reliability and be close to the source of collected
 material.  Payment delays beyond 30-45 days can be a

    Some parties insist that there will always be buyers
 for a clean, plentiful supply of any resin. In practice, the
 buyers for some resins can be far away and not inter-
 ested in the quantities generated by an individual pro-
 gram. In addition, it can be too costly to collect, sort,
 store and ship some resins.

    The place to start in determining what to col-
 lect is to look at what most collection programs
 are handling in the region,  A&  1990 ends, Oregon
 programs collect mostly HDFE-usually the translucent
 containers for milk, water, juice and other liquids. Sev-
 eral also take colored or clear bottles and tubs, such  as
 those used for soap, bleach and dairy products. PET  soft-
 drink bottles are accepted by several collectors and
buyers, including those that handle deposit system
returns. The odds of recycling these resins are likely to
stay good. Several drop-off depots in the Portland area
accept LDPE, PS, PP and PVC.  Markets should be
queried to determine if local programs can meet specifi-
cations for these resins and if the costs would be reason-
                                                 Decislonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

  Collect types
  you can explain.
  Collect quantities
  and types you
  can handle.
  Most programs
  decide to restrict
  their target plas-
                                       Collecting Used Plastics
                                       	What To Collect.
    Unless told otherwise, repeatedly and in clear terms,
the public will donate every worn out plastic item in the
house. Toasters, hair dryers, paint brushes and loose
packing fill are just a few of the less exotic products that
could end up in the bin. And if collection and sorting
crews don't understand what is wanted—and why—the
buyer can be counted on to turn away shipments.

    Start out with a short list that lends itself to good
visual illustrations.  Product names and description of
contents (e.g., milk, soft drinks, margarine) can be help-
ful. Buyers can be helpful in letting you know if manu-
facturers have changed the plastic in their containers.

    The more container types collected, the more vehicle
and storage space needed. More container types will
also increase sorting time, marketing costs and contami-
nated residue. For these reasons, and because of market
conditions, most collection programs limit the types of
containers they take. Oregon programs typically collect
only milk/juice/water jugs.

    Participation and recovery rates vary. Based on a
national survey, curbside collection of milk jugs will net
4-5 cubic yards each day of weekly service for every
1,000 households on that route. That's a highly efficient
route for one truck.  The payload would be 120 to 150
Ibs. (using 30 Ibs. per cubic yard for the jugs). Collecting
all types  of plastic containers from the same 1,000
households could require 12-15 cubic yards each week~a
payload of between between 360 and 450 Ibs.

    Drop-off depots in Oregon averaged 20 cubic yards
of (mostly milk jug) HDPE per week per depot. How-
ever, two centers serving a broad population in the
Portland area took in between 80 and 120 cubic yards
each week~or two to three large roll-off boxes.

    Only the program operator can decide whether the
markets and resources are available to collect a variety
of plastics.  Remember: It is easier to start the
flow of plastics than to turn it off. It is easier to
add plastics than to take them away.
                        Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                       Collecting Used Plastics
  Drop-off depots
  are particularly
  well-suited to
  rural settings,
  disposal sites, or
  if curbside serv-
  ice is not an op-
  Many local
  operate or assist
  drop-off depot
                                                        .How To Collect
    Cost and effectiveness aire the key factors in
choosing a collection method. It is also important to
use an approach that fits in wiith the existing solid waste
and recycling system. Some mianicipal or private
curbside programs begin plastics collection by offering
drop-off service. This helps develop public awareness
and market relationships at alow cost. Curbside collec-
tion of plastics is then added when equipment is refitted
or purchased.

    Three types of collection are used for plastics: drop-
off depots, buy-back centers and curbside service.  Each
option has relative merits and (drawbacks. For example,
drop-off centers are least expensive while curbside serv-
ice usually attains the highest recovery levels.  (See the
summary in Table 2 on page 17).

DROP-OFF PROGRAMS:  The public brings its plas-
tics to a drop-off depot, placing them in bins. About 90
percent of the HDPE collected in Oregon goes to drop-off
depots. This type of collection has the advantage of low
cost, since the public pays transportation to the depot,
and staffing needs are minimal.

      It is fairly easy to add plastics to an existing or
new drop-off depot. A depot that handles paper may al-
ready have an adequate baler.  Transportation to market
can be done with existing and perhaps under-utilized
trucks and staff. Used dumpsters, barrels or even card-
board boxes can serve as collection bins.

      Drop-off collection does not offer the same public
convenience or financial incentives of other methods, so
participation is often lower.  But some depots with
strong community support capture amounts per house-
hold that compare well with curbside collection and buy-
back centers. Drop-off depots have been set up on va-
cant lots, at school or store parking areas, on church
grounds, in public maintenance yards, at materials
sorting facilities and at transfer stations or landfills.
Commercial and industrial generators also have access
to depots, whereas curbside collection normally reaches
only the residential sector.
                        Decislonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                        Collecting Used  Plastics
  Buy-back centers
  incur higher
  costs per ton
  than drop-off
  collection is
                                                         .How To Collect.
BUY-BACK CENTERS: Purchase of plastics from the
public is not widespread in Oregon, although several
processors pay up to 5 cents per Ib. at the door. A por-
tion of the population is motivated to recycle for money
but will not bother if the activity doesn't pay. Buy-back
centers can recover amounts of material comparable to
or greater than drop-off depots.  This is especially true if
the center is located near low-income areas.

      Stores that pay the public for return of deposit law
containers are not true buy-back operations. They sim-
ply pass through monies paid when the container was
purchased. However, they resemble buy-backs in that a
significant portion of the containers are brought in by
people who scavenged them from various sources.

      Economics usually require a buy-back center to
handle a range of secondary materials, including paper,
corrugated cardboard, metals and  glass. Paying the
public involves more staffing, record-keeping and cash-
flow needs than for drop-off collection. Consequently,
costs per ton are usually higher for all materials col-

      Local governments do not often operate buy-back
businesses. However, they sometimes provide sites and
may contract with operators to take materials from or
even manage government sponsored drop-off centers.

CURBSIDE COLLECTION is the most convenient,
most effective, and most expensive method for collecting
plastics. Expenses for vehicles,  fuel and skilled labor
can easily double or triple the per-ton cost of depot-based
or center-based collection. But curbside collection often
triples the material diversion rates (7 percent of the
wastestream or more compared with 2 percent or less for

      Curbside collection vehicles generally pick up
newspaper, glass containers and cans made of aluminum
or tin-plated steel. Some programs collect corrugated
cardboard, mixed paper, used oil and other materials--
including plastics.
                                                 Decislonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                Collecting  Used Plastics -
                                                	How To Collect.
                                       Some programs add vehicles to accomodate new
                                plastic volumes. This is the most expensive solution, as
                                annual costs per vehicle (including labor, fuel, and capi-
                                tal) can easily exceed $60,000.  Addition of wire mesh
                                cages on top of vehicles or use of trailers may increase
                                costs no more than a few hundred dollars on an annual-
                                ized basis. Bag-holders attached to existing vehicles are
                                even less expensive.

                  PRINCIPAL FEATURES
            Drop boxes/bins located In parking lots
            Materials are self-hauled to depots
            Often sponsored by community organizations
                                               Easy to implement

                                               Low startup costs/budget

                                               Available to commercial
                                                and industrial sectors
                                                                       Inconvenient to public

                                                                       Low waste stream reduction

                                                                       Less control over quality of
            Purchase materials from public/private sectors
            ONP, OCC, AL most common materials
            Materials are self-hauled to centers
            Require clean and sorted materials
            Expenses for equipment, site, purchase, labor
                                                Effective collection of AL

                                                Collects variety of materials

                                                Provides economic Incentive

                                                Available to commercial
                                                 and industrial sectors
                                                                      Good cash flow required
                                                                      Inconvenient to public
                                                                      Low waste stream reduction
            Most effective method for residential recycling
            Materials picked up at curb or In alley
            Typically Includes at least ONP, GL, AL, TN
            Materials may be commingled or separated
            Service provided by municipality or private firm
                                               Most convenient method
                                               Possible high waste reduction
                                               City authority over system
                                               Possible high disposal savings
                                               Garbage system integration
                                                                      High costs/budget
[Product codes ONP (newspapers), OCC (corrugated), AL (aluminum). GL (glass). TN (tin)	|
                                                             Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                 !Planning For Recovery Levels;
                                 	Estimating Recovery
   The amount
   of plastics a
   program will
   recover affects
   planning for
   labor, equipment,
   space needs and
     This section provides some good rules of thumb and
 a worksheet for calculating recovery. Based on estimated
 recovery volumes, you can project program needs for in-
 creased collection and storage capacity. This informa-
 tion will help you complete worksheets in the section on
 "Estimating Collection Costs," including equipment and
 labor costs (Worksheets 2 and 3, pages 27 and 29) and
 revenues (Worksheet 4, page 30).

    Worksheet 1, "Plastics Container Collection:  Recov-
ery Levels and Space Requirements," allows program
planners to estimate tonnage and cubic yards. Each
plausible scenario should be modeled separately.  The
basic steps are:

    1. For each plastic collected, multiply the annual
Ibs. generated per household by the number of house-
holds the program will serve.

    2. For each plastic collected, choose a recovery
level and multiply the product of Step  1. This will give
the Ibs. per year that can be expected. The percentage of
recovery chosen reflects whether a curbside or depot
system is to be used. (See footnote 1 on Worksheet 1).

    3. Estimate recovery volumes (cubic yards) by fol-
lowing the steps shown under the heading "Cubic Yards"
at the bottom of Worksheet 1. These projections of recov-
ery volume can be done for each item collected or for the
total items (if more than one type of plastic is to be col-
lected).  The cubic yards show the space requirements
per month, week and day.

    4. Use the cubic yards projected in Step 3 to consider
equipment needs. Do your vehicles or collection boxes
have enough excess capacity to handle the daily vol-
umes? Or will you need to buy new equipment? How
often will your storage boxes fill up? If you use curbside
collection, will you need new vehicles or will it be enough
to add smaller, less expensive cages trailers or bag-
holders?  (See section "Estimating Collection Costs").
                                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                    ! Planning  For Recovery Levels
                                    	Estimating Recovery

Lbs. Generated
per Household
No. Households
 % Recovery
Expected (1)

  milk jugs







  soft drink


Cubic Yards








        Per Year: Divide Ibs./year by 30:

        Per Month: Divide cubic yards/year by 12:

        Per Week: Divide cubic yards/year by 52:

        Per Day:  Divide cubic yards/year by 260:
(1) Recovery level is based on collection method. Assume 5-10 percent for
   depot collection or 20-50 percent for curbside collection.
(2) PET soft drink bottle recovery through curbside or depot collection is
   not likely to exceed 10% in deposit law states, such as Oregon.
                                                      Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

  Recovery per
                                Planning For Recovery Levels
                                	Recovery Assumptions
    The table, "Plastic Container Recovery Levels:
Sample Estimates," identifies the average quantity of
each packaging resin available per capita and per house-
hold. It provides two examples of feasible recovery
levels: 10 percent (seen in some drop-off depots) and 50
percent (considered a successful rate in curbside pro-
grams).  Worksheet 1 (page 19) allows planners to model
any range of recovery they wish, based on number of
households served and extent of promotion/education

    The data in Table 3 and on Worksheet 1 were devel-
oped for the Oregon Department of Environmental Qual-
ity in the study "Current and Target Recovery Rates for
Plastics Packaging in Oregon." It is based on U.S. con-
sumption averages compiled by the Society of the Plas-
tics Industry and published in Modern Plastics maga-
Resin Type
milk jugs
soft drink
(1) Based on U.S.
Per capita ge
Household ge
(2) PET recovery \A
Weight Generated (lbs./yr.)(l)
Per capita Per household
13.6 36.7
4.0 10.8
1.2 3.2
1.8 4.9
2.6 7.0
3.1 8.4
0.8 2.2
3.7 10.0
2.8 7.6
Recovery (Lbs/Hous
resin consumption data. Modern Plastics, January 1990.
neration derived by using U.S. population of 250 million.
neration assumes 2.7 persons per household.
rould be much lower where there is deposit legislation.
                       Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

   Recovery Level
   by Method
                                 'Planning For Recovery Levels
	 Recovery Assumptions	

    Recovery levels vary with the collection method, the
extent and effectiveness of promotion and education and
the types of packaging targeted.  No two programs oper-
ate under the same conditions or attain the same results.
Some people will not participate! in even the most con-
venient and efficient collection program. Many people
who participate will not contribute all the material they

    Curbside programs seldom top 70 to 80 percent par-
ticipation, and more people set out newspaper than
glass, metal and plastic containers. People also separate
a higher percentage of their newspaper than their plas-
tics. Drop-off depots and buy-back centers typically
attract only a small portion of the public.  Continuing
promotion and education can increase recovery levels,
but the following diversion rates are common for plas-
                            Curbside collection:
                           Depot collection:
                       20 to 50 percent of quantity

                       5 to 10 percent of quantity
  Weight and
 Bottles & Jugs:       about 7 items per pound

 All containers:        30 Ibs. per cubic yard (loose)

 40 cubic yard box:    1,100 Ibs. loose containers

 Standard Bale:        700 to 1,000 Ibs.

 Gaylord, shredded:   500 to 700 Ibs.
 Anational survey of collection programs shows an average of one milk jugper eligible house-
 hold per weefe, o* 7.3 Ibs. per eligible household, recycled annually,  Oregon curbside
 progi-amsaveragedabout filbs.ofBDPE recycled (not allof it beverage jugs). "Eligible"refers
 to all households fhat could set out, not aH the ones i&at do, Mi»sd plastics collection
 programs, including film, have generated more than 2.§ Ibs* per eligible household weekly*
 or 130 Ibs. annually.
                                                  Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                   Estimating Collection Costs
  Making multiple
  copies of the
  will allow
  development of
  several scenarios.
    This section provides information and worksheets to
help estimate costs of collecting plastics. Costs are
calculated per ton and per household for the addition of
plastics only or for the entire program—that is, for all
materials collected by the program.

    Identifying the impact on total program costs
is the most useful way to look at the cost of plas-
tics collection.  Considered alone, curbside plastics col-
lection may cost several times more per ton than other
items, but could add only pennies per household or a few
dollars per ton overall. Plastics collection typically has
even less impact on the costs of depot collection.

    Four worksheets are provided:

    • Worksheet 2:  Capital/Start-Up Costs
    • Worksheets:  Annual Operating Costs

    • Worksheet 4:  Cost Offsets
    • Worksheets:  Summary Worksheet

    Program planners need Worksheet 1 (page 19) and
previous data to decide the following:

    • the collection and processing methods they will
    • the equipment they will use, and its cost;
    • the materials to be collected;
    • estimated recovery tonnages and cubic yards;
    • the staff levels and labor rates involved.

     The worksheets can be used  to estimate costs for
all materials and households in a multi-material pro-
gram, as well as to calculate the costs of adding plastics.
                                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                    Estimating Collection Costs
                                                      	Cost Factors

Higher costs may be observed with;
                              Each program will have different equipment, labor
                          rates, productivity and operating procedures. One pro-
                          gram may have higher costs per ton than another, but
                          lower costs per household.  Several program characteris-
                          tics affect the costs of adding plastics to a collection

                              1. Existing capacity. If the truck fleet has spare
                          capacity, plastics may not add much cost. In fact, they
                          may lower overall costs by improving utilization.  But if
                          plastics collection requires more vehicles, higher costs
                          result. This is especially true for smaller programs: the
                          impact of increasing from two Ixucks to three trucks is
                          much greater than going from ten trucks to twelve.

                              2. Collection efficiency. Efficiency is the amount of
                          time and money needed to collect a given amount of
               collection vehicles (more time per pick-up due to drivers walking
    >, around vehjglej, slow loading systeKi5j
     inefficient collection rotates (fewer stops per route, fewer hours on route,
     fewer households per dayjcollected—due to low participation, low population
     ^ensiiy, distance from tlie central yard, poor route design, short work day);
     Mgher Ikbor costs (more crew per vehicle, higher salaries);
     more corbside sorts (more time per stopt fewer stops per day).

                              The lowest curbside costs are attained by one-person
                          collection crews serving a route of more than 800 house-
                          holds per day and collecting material that is commingled
                          to some degree. Depot collection tjrpically requires lower
                          capital, labor and operating costs because transportation
                          is minimized.

                              3. Materials collected. Collection of mixed plastics
                          or collecting a variety of containers will result in higher
                          space requirements, more expensive handling, increased
                          disposal of unacceptable plastics aind more load rejection
                          by markets.
23                                                Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                   -Estimating Collection Costs
  costs of programs
                                                            Cost Factors.
    4.  Quantities recovered. Higher recovery can re-
duce costs per ton and increase revenues, tout may also
increase equipment and labor requirements. Low recov-
ery coupled with expensive equipment purchases will
drive up costs.

    5.  Cost of equipment. Less expensive options for
curbside programs may include used vehicles and bins or
expanded vehicle capacity (cages, bag holders, trailers)
rather than new trucks. But more expensive, high-
capacity vehicles may be justified if plastics are included
in planning a new program. Depot collection may be able
to rely entirely on existing boxes and balers. New drop-
boxes or dumpsters still cost less than vehicles.

    6.  Sorting efficiency.  An efficient sorting system
(high sorting rates per worker, low costs per lb.) reduces
overall collection system costs.  However, high quanti-
ties—several hundred Ibs. per hour—may be needed to
justify the investment in expensive processing equip-
ment. Most programs do not generate this quantity of

    7.  Transportation costs. Distance to market is a
major factor, with truck operation (including labor) often
costing $40 per hour or more. Undensified material is
too expensive to haul farther than a few miles.

    Table 4 on page 25 provides average costs and
ranges observed nationally. It is offered for general
interest only. A multitude of labor costs, equipment
types, sociodemograpbics, efficiency and recovery levels
are represented by the programs included in these aver-
ages. Comparison with your own program should be
undertaken cautiously.
                        Declslonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                Estimating Collection
	 >^V»»I 1 VIWIVSI« 	
^losps?™,, *»" «"~t ?f it5^yjBwij!Sw^*T'if iV»» I!.,I»A*I
^iS^Ci ocf*-/*\\/cn\f l^vufeiVfu*. ,:;'
-t >%>!? ®ilfl-|l#rf?»^l .COLLE^lf l0^PR0^is
\5^?*v?)^ ^ V $d^&&Mift&0& pl^raiii m0ete]li , \ ^
\<$$& ' $ ' -*•  ^ ^"<"-si^ ~
'"s ,"'< J '"* * "*>• *
Per Household
Average I

$1:23 1
$0.25 [
$0.25 1
Not Available i
Not A\railable |
Not Available i
Not Available I
Not Available t:
1 $0.61 - $4.02
| $0.04 - $0.73
$0.04 - $0.73

i Not Available
1 Not Available
Not Available

Not Available
Not Available
^ t
Not Available 1
Not Available
Not Available |
Not Available \
Not Available 1
Not Available |
Not Available
Not Available

Not Available
Not Available
(1) Per household cost ranges are the same for adding plastics and for plastics only.
because the number of households and
total added cost are the same.

                                            Decisionmaker's Quide to Recycling Plastics

                                  i Estimating Collection Costs
                                  	Capital / Start-Up Costs
                             Use Worksheet 2 on page 27 to examine several op-
                         tions for providing service. Based on the space needs
                         identified in Worksheet 1 (page 19), estimate costs for
                         equipment and other capital improvements. Interest
                         rates of 10 percent may be used. Compounded interest
                         should be added to the cost of equipment over the useful
                         life of the item.  Equipment life is often estimated at
                         seven years.

                             Table 5 provides estimated capital costs for equip-
                         ment needed to  collect, sort and process plastics. Local
                         planners will be able to identify opportunities to reduce
* Curbside Collection
1 Vehicles
;j Pick-up truck
i Manual loader
; Automated pickup
1 Burlap sacks @
60 gal. roll-carts
' ' *, " * ^ T N- H ' t y^^ SM' -w®***^
Supplemental vehicle capacity Jg
Wire-mesh cage
1.5cu. yd. sacks®
Sack holders @
Customer storage containers
,5 ,x ; »» *; 4f «i\
, Drop-off Collection (and Site Storage)
30 cu. yd. roll-off box
4 cu. yd. bin
Gaylord box @
55-gal barrel, used
1 20-gal. fiber barrel
•,^ ,-* i,.. . M
14 gal. boxes®
90 gal. roll-carts

$2,000 g
$3,000-$10,000 If
$500 8
EN '„ •t^^tf^flf^y^fs^f1^^^^
$7 Js-j

Site preparation jgS
8' chainlink fence
Plastic or snow fencing
* *:' ---"N.*^'»< '^
' , .v>^»-,, -yT ^f»- ;#^ »**-
Processing equipment
1 Densification
i On-board compactor
1 Perforator
» *» »,,
$5,000-$ 15,000
$13/linearft. ^
$2/linearft. £j
/ -j «i «-*''?" ^ ^\ ^-m^^
- Vc f 1
**. * i
Sorting fe|
Air classifier
Eddy current
Trommel screen
Sorting table
Materials handling
Forklift $15,000-$60,000
Roll-off truck $75,000
Front-end loader $90,000
	 : 	 , 	 ^ — »...»»
$7,000-$ 10,000 m
$9,000 J
$100,000 <'
$20,000 -
$500-$40,000 ,*
' X< ^ "* ' f -£, ^ j
Declslonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                              ! Estimating Collection Costs
                              	Capitol / Start-Up Costs
Capital/Start-Up Costs
Collection- Trucks
^«f- .>- ^v^'— :;-*-
^\^J^fJ&»^** ^*V«^*"v4-
^•* JfgM^Vv < ' < »„
:^f ;^^>?%,c~*
\ , , * c. "% '•*
* " 	 >j£*l"~'' ^ ^<
f\ "'^ff ,^ ~&Wlfii. v ^*
" Fvl ^
Total Cost
= $
= $
= $
= $
= $
= $
= $
= $
= $
_ "* <^ **•
Annual Cost(l)

                                          Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                   Estimating Collection Costs •
                                  	Annual Operating Costs.
                             Worksheet 3 on page 29 requires local solid waste
                         planners to use their knowledge of salaries and operat-
                         ing costs.  Several programs can be modeled. For ex-
                         ample, a single sorter may be able to remove contami-
                         nants from one ton of plastic containers daily.  Only a
                         few hours may be needed for smaller quantities. Baling
                         or shredding may proceed at different rates, depending
                         on the equipment.  It should be possible to densify a ton
                         of material in two hours with commonly available equip-

                             Table 6 provides a broad  estimate of vehicle costs
                         seen in other programs. Information available to local
                         decisionmakers will be more specific and useful. How-
                         ever, the categories need to be considered.
Representative Vehicle Operating
Other Than Labor <1^

Vehicle license/insurance
Tires, parts (per vehicle)
Fuel ($/gallon)
Maintenance ($/hr of operation)
C.Xitr^riS^rv ^
''•;" S^ ~f, <•»<•'
Cost (1990)
5-10 i
;03 - .06
(1) Larger vehicles with more hydraulic equipment
have higher costs for maintenance, parts, fuel.
Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                             !Estimating Collection Costs
                             	Annual Operating Costs
siyiLg%^&&vc|u* «&$ , j. * s x> ._, to, if e?~T "*" """^s^*" '*'"> « ^ .s~, " * *^
JSlP^rj^ -.. <••--_ , tlT.,.^. '— -.™T^y-»
Annual Operating Costs
(wages, taxes, benefits)
Collection: Drivers
Process/Market: Sorters
s ^^ ^^~^.~ ~ V^t
"? g ~m *• ft~" ^^' 	 ^ ^ ~ ^
Number X Unit Cost
X $
X $
X $
Equipment Operator X $

Maintenance: Mechanic
Administration: Manager
Other Operating Expenses
Collection: License/Insurance

Fuel, oil
Process/Market: Utilities
Fuel, oil
Phone, mail
Promotion: Design, printing
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
X $
^ --,v»'V '"t^ ^-/, f * ^ ^ >
i * uiS „ * ^ \ ,' ^
Annual Cost
_ A

                                         Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                    Estimating Collection Costs
                                                             .Cost Off sets
                              Program costs will be reduced by revenues from sale
                           of materials and by savings on disposal. Worksheet 4
                           allows planners to estimate revenues and disposal sav-
                           ings. These projections can be incorporated into Work-
                           sheet 5, "Summary Worksheet." Tonnages developed on
                           Worksheet 1 (page 19) are needed to complete Worksheet

                              Prices vary considerably from one buyer to the next.
                           A low price estimate paid by Northwest markets for any
                           type of plastic is $.02 - $.04 per Ib. A high estimate for
                           HDPE is $.10 - $.15 per Ib. Other materials seldom
                           exceed $.08 per Ib. These prices can be applied to recov-
                           ery estimates in order to project revenues (see Work-
                           sheet 1). Multiply total estimated tonnage recovered by
                           the local cost of disposal to calculate disposal savings.
Cost Offsets
Revenues from Sale of Materials

     Annual Lbs. of Material
  Avg. Price/Lb.
(total of revenue column)


     Annual Tons Recycled
(add total sales revenue and disposal savings)
              Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                     Estimating Collection Costs
                                      	Summary Worksheet
Summary Worksheet
                                                                r.i3Sf&«f/  "" ' -
                                                                T  « •*    ^ /
                                                                 i^  T  tn >   •«. —
                       ^ -x, ^ £  «• ,  IS #"4,
                        vn / x^ * ^  F^ «
Annualized Capital Costs (from Worksheet 2)

Annual Operating Costs (from Worksheet 3)

Annual Revenues (from Worksheet 4)               $

Annual Disposal Savings (From Worksheet 4)         $


(Subtract total annual cost offsets from total annual costs)

Cost per Ton -  divide net program cost
             by total tons of material recovered

Cost per Household per Month - divide net program costs
             by number of houses offered service.
             Divide result by 12.

                                                  Costs of Adding Plastics.
                               To estimate the costs of adding plastics to the pro-
                           gram, you must calculate current costs for all materials
                           collected and processed. Then add-in the total costs for
                           including plastics and divide the new total cost by total
                           tons and by all households.

                               For example, if a program serves 50,000 households
                           and collects 6,000 tons of all materials at a total annual
                           cost of $600,000, it costs $100 per ton and $1 per house-
                           hold per month. If this program adds 500 tons of plas-
                           tics annually, at a total annual cost of $150,000, the
                           entire program now collects 6,500 tons for $115 per ton
                           and $1.25 per household per month..
                                                    Decisionmoker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                                         Policy Issues
           Decisionmakers need to resolve a number of issues surrounding plastics
collection. Most of these issues are the same for all recyclable materials.  Whether and
how to collect are discussed above. Other questions include:

    •  Who collects?    Will the local jurisdiction require plastics collection as part of
                       garbage franchise or contract agreements? Will collection be
                       assigned by bid?

    .  Who markets?   Government is seldom equipped for the daily decisions in-
                       volved in selling secondary materials.

    .  Cost and Revenue sharing.  What formula will be used to distribute
                       expenses and revenues? Markets may decline or increase,
                       and an equitable arrangement may involve sharing of both
                       risks and benefits. The simplest plan administratively may
                       be to assign all revenues to the collector/seller.

    .  How will collection costs be paid?   Will they be billed directly to cus-
                       tomers as part of solid waste collection charges? If so, as a
                       separate line item? Will they be paid out of general tax
                       funds? Can the plastics industry be enlisted to contribute
                       equipment costs?

    .  How much can be spent?   What limits will be set on increased expenditure
                       for plastics collection? What period of time is allowed to
                       bring costs down? Is the community willing to landfill as
                       much as 20 percent of collected plastics if they are not mar-

    .  Will participation be mandatory?   Higher recovery will result, but strong
                       opposition may also emerge.  Additional equipment could be
                       needed to handle the added tonnage.

    .  What education and promotion methods will be used?   Programs that do
                       not encourage and inform the public on a regular basis risk
                       wasting their investment in collection.

    .  Are zoning issues involved?   Storage of milk jugs and other food containers
                       can conflict with health codes, particularly in certain neigh-
                       borhoods. Will special permits be required?  Will these re-
                       quirements restrict a plastics recycling operation?
 32                                                Decislonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

     Monitoring and evaluation.   How will program results be reported and
                       assessed? Over what period? Who will be responsible for
                       maintaining and reviewing records? What standards will be
                       set for intervening?

     Procurement of recycled products.   Will the local jurisdiction make an
                       effort to purchase recycled plastic products, such as car-
                       stops,  pallets, park benches, traffic cones and road markers?
                       Such efforts "close the recycling loop" and are important in
                       creating demand for the collected material. The local juris-
                       diction should publicize its efforts in this area.

     Interjurisdictional cooperation.    Costs can be lowered by pooling collected
                       materials for processing and shipment to market. Will this
                       be done, and if so, who will be responsible for it? Should it
                       be required of the collector?

     Will bans on certain packaging be employed?    Some communities, such
                       as Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis, Minnesota, have
                       ordinances banning non-recycled packaging.  These local
                       actions reduce non-recyclable plastics in the waste stream.
                       They also educate the public and put pressure on industry to
                       assist recycling. They may encourage use of more recyclable
                       resins and packaging, but they can be cumbersome to en-
                       force.  New state laws may supercede local initiatives. Mu-
                       nicipalities that have enacted bans should be contacted to
                       find out the pros and cons of such actions.
33                                                 Decisionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                            For More Information
       On MARKETS

       Eaglebrook Plastics, Inc.
       Oregon Department of
       Environmental Quality
       Plastic Recycling Alliance

       Plastics Recycling Update
       Plastics Recycling Compendium
       Resource Integration Systems
       Society of the Plastics Industry
       Wellman, Inc.
2600 West Roosevelt
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 523-1366

811 S.W. Sixth
Portland, OR  97204
(503) 229-5913

(215) 774-1942

Resource Recycling, Inc.
P.O. Box 10540
Portland, OR  97210
(503) 227-1319

Christiansen Associates
P.O. Box 7364
Toledo, OH 43615
(419) 389-1799

425 N.W. 18th Ave.
Portland, OR  97209
(503) 227-1326

1275 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 371-5319

P.O. Box 188
JohnsonviUe, SC 29555
(803) 386-2011
            Declslonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                           For More Information
       Association of Oregon Recyclers
       Council for Solid
       Waste Solutions
       EPA National Peer Match
       EPA Region X Peer Match
       Program (Available in 1991)
       Oregon Department of
       Environmental Quality
       Resource Integration Systems
       Solid Waste Information
       Clearinghouse (SWICH)
       Waste Matters Consulting
P.O. Box 15279
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 233-7770

1275 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 371-5319

Attn: EPA Peer Match Program
P.O. Box 7219
Silver Springs, MD 20910

1200 6th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-6640

811 S.W. Sixth
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 229-5913

425 N.W. 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-1326
FAX: 1-301-585-0297

800 NW 6th Ave., Suite 210
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 294-0911
                                                Declsionmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

                                            For More Information!

       Council on Plastics Packaging
       and the Environment
       Garbage (magazine)
       Modern Plastics (magazine)
       Plastics News
       Resource Recycling (magazine)
       and Plastics Recycling Update
       Waste Age (magazine)
1275 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 371-5228

Old-House Journal Corp.
435 Ninth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 788-1700

P.O. Box 602
Hightstown, NY 08520
1-800-257-9402, ext. 81

965 E. Jefferson
Detroit, MI 48207-3185

Resource Recycling, Inc.
P.O. Box 10540
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 227-1319

1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 861-0708
            Decislonmaker's Guide to Recycling Plastics

            * U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1991—592-754