Recycling success leads to city budget woes

It seems I wasn’t the only one to reduce the size of my trash bin last year — both to save money and because with more efforts on the recycling front I really didn’t need a large landfill container any longer.

I upped the ante on composting, but the real difference was scooping up all plastic bags that pass through the household, even when you’re not using them to shop, and depositing them at the Claremont Safeway collection can.

Trouble is with all of us on such an aggressive recycling kick, Berkeley residents combined have led to a $4 million decline in refuse revenues for the city, contributing to a total $10 million deficit.

As Matthai Kuruvila reports in the Chronicle today, Berkeley is a victim of its own success. Andrew Clough, the city’s deputy director of public works, says they will have to revisit the whole business model for recycling and garbage.


Read the Chronicle story here.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: tracey@citysidejournalism.org.