Smart solutions for our cardboard

The new recycling totes now allow old corrugated cardboard (OCC) to be included into the residential curbside mix that is hauled off to Rumpke-Dayton. Our landfill personnel have to expend time, money and equipment to transport the material to Dayton. Instead of making money from the OCC, we have to pay $20 per ton to dispose of it.

The alternative is to utilize the drop-off bins in the city parking lot and at the landfill that are still available to city and county residents. That OCC along with a limited amount of collected commercial material is baled and sold on the market for as much $177 per ton and the buyer picks up the baled product.

In lieu of using the totes for disposal, I suggest that the city do a monthly pick-up of flattened clean OCC from residents in order to maximize landfill earnings and protect the remaining landfill space.

A three-month test of a well-advertised once-per-month residential OCC pick-up would test the viability of the idea. There are indications that volunteers would aid in the test phase.

In addition to the earnings, used to support the always threatened curbside program, the saving of finite resources and valuable landfill space is a plus. In this age of online shopping and Amazon, OCC disposal will continue to be a growing problem.

My unscientific calculations: 3,000 out of 4,500 households generating 15 pounds of OCC per month would produce a gross revenue of $45,900 plus the savings of transportation costs and the Rumke fee.

Using the totes is better than nothing but not the best use of valuable OCC. Who wants to cut up big boxes to fit in a small tote and allow an outsider to profit from our material?

Paul Hunter