Changes to policy brought members of Recycle Livingston together to discuss the state of the industry with organization officials. With most of the global recycling market now closed to United States business, Recycle Livingston, like similar operations across the country, is faced with making some serious changes. Executive Director Julie Cribley said poor standards which led to high contamination is largely to blame.

Earlier this month, Recycle Livingston was notified by their vendor that they would no longer haul away their materials for free, and would instead now be charging $200 per load. Cribley said this will equate to around $1,400 a month that they don’t have in their budget when it goes into effect September 1st. She and Board of Directors President John Boris conducted a meeting attended by roughly 35 members in Brighton, Tuesday night, to discuss the emergency policy changes that will go into effect beginning Saturday.

Membership rates will increase across the board to $40 for families, $30 for seniors, and $130 for businesses. Plastics #1 and 2 will be accepted, but only from members. Additionally, they must be clean and sorted. Numbers 3 through 7 and plastics bags of any number will no longer be accepted.

Cribley suggested that going back to a point where numbers 3 through 7 can be recycled will be tough, as those plastics are what caused most of the problems. She seemed hesitant to tell people to just throw them out, but also shared that those plastics have likely all been put in landfills or were incinerated, and not truly recycled, for the past 6 months. If people want to make a change, she encouraged them stop using products in those plastics and to call the companies that use them and hold them accountable.

Boris said that through all of this, the public has been largely supportive. He said his feeling was that sometimes crisis brings out the best in people, and he believes their membership will rally. He estimated that 3 out of every 4 comments they receive about the new policies are positive, and that most of the negative ones are coming from non-members. He said their members are accepting, already paying higher renewal fees, and are even adding on extra donations because they see the need for additional support.(MK)