Some Bay area residents may end up paying more to recycle

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — The cost to recycle could be going up in several cities and counties in the Bay area. Officials say this is directly tied to China choosing to stop importing plastic waste from the west. 

This change impacts the companies contracted to collect recyclables. Some of them say they're losing money. 

"It's a trickle-down effect," said Ian Boil. 

Boil works for Waste Connections. He spoke at Madeira Beach City Commission's meeting Monday afternoon. The city is in contract negotiations with Waste Connections right now. The new contract calls for a 116 percent rate increase for houses, and about a 56 percent increase for condos. 

"There's a higher cost to process the material," Boil said. "And considering there's more contamination for us to deal with as processors." 

Clearwater and several other cities in our area are looking at the same kind of rate increases as well. Not all of them contract with Waste Connections, but every company is in the same boat. 

Some of the smaller towns in the state are even talking about getting rid of recycling altogether. But, then they might end up collecting more trash. 

"it's a huge issue," said Boil.

Since China is no longer taking our recyclables, Boil said some companies can't sell them, so they're having to burn or bury them. 

Madeira Beach and other cities in Pinellas County are now working together to try and come up with a solution that won't cost too much. 

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