Southold Town looks to increase paper recycling

Forget the Internet. The market for newspapers is hot right now — if you’re a recycler.

Town solid waste coordinator Jim Bunchuck said Tuesday that people are recycling less newspaper than usual at the town transfer station, probably because they receive more money for it on the private market.

Recycled newspaper is now selling for about $60 per ton, he said, up from an average of $10 per ton.

Despite the decrease in the volume of newspaper brought into the transfer station, the solid waste department has brought in more recycling revenue than anticipated so far this year, due in large part to the increase in price for newspaper, Mr. Bunchuck told the board.

He said his department has budgeted for $100,000 in revenue from recycling this year and has already taken in $42,000.

He suggested that the town institute a 50 percent rebate for commercial carters who pay to bring newspaper in over the scale at the transfer station, hoping to recapture some of the private market business. While the town doesn’t pay for newspaper in part because of the cost of trucking it to Jet Sanitation in Islandia, he said it could be advantageous for local contractors to bring it to Southold instead of paying for fuel to drive it up-island.

He also suggested that the town encourage paper drives in schools to help bring more newspaper in to the recycling center.

“I can only imagine how much paper is generated in a school,” he said.

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