Plymouth: Crash of Trash Market Causes Financial Problems for Haulers and Towns They Serve

Trash is no longer the cash cow it once was for haulers nationwide. Contracts made between haulers and communities were based on high value cardboard, plastic and metals being part of weekly pickups. But now that the trash market has collapsed, it costs haulers money to get rid of it. And, some haulers want towns to share that cost. ABC Disposal’s contract with the Town of Plymouth is no exception.

Critics of the contract that was made with ABC when recyclables had high value, claimed that the town should share in the profit from them. But Plymouth did not ask for that. Town Manager Melissa Arrighi:

“We don’t want to share in the burden and we knew we weren’t going to benefit from the profit. However, we also have to think realistically about the situation we’re in.”

And the situation is this:

“We have over five thousand customers that are using this service in addition to all the independent customers that use these haulers. But, we have to do something. We can’t, certainly, have recycling lying around anywhere and we can’t have it being burnt at a facility.”

So, Arrighi is working with the towns of New Bedford, Fairhaven and Seekonk to request help from the Department of Environmental protection…

“…because we need them to help look at a real solution that we can implement immediately in these towns.”

And what about the transfer station?

“There are about three thousand users—on the basis of that recycling at the time, that was a commodity that was making money. That is not the case now, so we’re looking at increases in prices at our own transfer station.”


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About Bobbi Clark

Bobbi Clark is a Plymouth area reporter at WATD. She began her career in radio as a producer at a news/talk radio station in Chicago. From there she went to WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated television station in Chicago, As a producer there, she won 5 Emmy Awards for production of special programming. Bobbi is a graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Writing, Publishing and Literature.