LOGAN – Logan City has announced the removal of their cardboard bin drop sites from around the valley and said the cardboard market has essentially tanked, rendering the material worthless in regard to selling it to companies for recycling.
“Collecting cardboard has never had a fee attached to it. The revenue we were generating from selling the cardboard used to be enough, but as soon as that revenue hit zero, it was no longer a viable program,” said Emily Malik, Logan City Conservation Coordinator.
The city has been selling collected cardboard to various recycling companies around the valley for decades, but Malik said when the bids came back at, “we will take it for free”, the city could no longer justify the overhead costs.
Ean Kunz, General Manager at Valley Metal, said the current state of the market for cardboard is not good.
“Due to where we’re at with the world economy, there’s really nowhere for the cardboard to go overseas,” he explained. “There’s an oversupply of cardboard in the United States and the demand is not very high.”
Kunz said China used to be a big purchaser of recycling material, but they have taken themselves out of the game, no longer being a player in the recycling of plastics and fiber.
Valley Metal bought cardboard from Logan City for over 20 years and even bought cardboard off their customers who came in. But Kunz said it’s no longer viable for them either, citing overhead costs.
“At this point and time, it’s hard for us to handle it, bale it, and ship it to mills without being upside down in our overhead costs. We can’t pay for the material anymore, it’s just not the approach we can take,” he said.
Both Logan City and Valley Metal still accept cardboard being dropped off at their designated sites.
Logan City can collect cardboard from the public at their transfer station at 153 North 1400 West. Malik said that location is not open to the public 24 hours, so it’s a bit more monitored. And the blue recycling bins still accept broken down cardboard. Valley Metal will also take the cardboard as a donation.
Taking the cardboard collection bins out of the valley doesn’t represent Logan City’s dedication to the recycling process.
“We hope people will please put their cardboard in their recycling container,” Malik said. “Cut it up, break it down. We still encourage all residents to continue to recycle.”
Kunz said the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” is still an important motto to have confidence in.
“We believe in the process of recycling,” said Kunz. “It’s in everyone’s best interest, as a business, and as a community, to trust the process and go through the motions when you can.”