The Story of Our Residential Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

Trash and Recycling in Derry
contributed by: Judy Follo

  1. We produce MSW which is put into garbage bags and we are asked to divert our recyclables into bins.  Our recyclables are generally put into two categories (dual stream):  cardboard*, paper products and comingled plastics, aluminum, tin cans, glass.
  2. The resident can pay a company (Casella, Pinard) to pick up the garbage bags and recyclables to be brought to the Derry Transfer Station OR the resident can bring the garbage bags and recyclables to the Transfer Station themselves.
  3. The car or private garbage company truck is weighed and leaves the garbage and recyclables in the appropriate areas in the transfer station.  The trucks and cars leave the transfer station empty.
  4. The transfer station uses their hauling trucks to take the garbage to a landfill in Maine.  The cost for this is $59 per ton plus $15 per ton for transportation.
  5. The transfer station separates paper from cardboard*, bales these, and sells it to a recycler.  The revenue for this is $145 per ton for cardboard* and $50 per ton for newspaper*.
  6. The transfer station has a contract with Casella to take the comingled aluminum, tin, plastics #1 – 7, and glass to a MRF (Material Recovery Facility) in Massachusetts.  Casella recycling trucks enter the transfer station empty, pick up the recycling containers, get weighed, and leave to go to the MRF.  We pay Casella $25 per ton to take our comingled recyclables.
  7. The transfer station has a bin for Aluminum, but this is a scrap metal aluminum bin – not for beverage cans.  The transfer station sells the scrap metal which is sorted at the facility in these bins for the market price.
  8. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how people get their garbage and recyclables to the Transfer Station… what matters is that the recyclables are diverted from the regular garbage.  So educating people on what we can get money for and how to best prep that material for the transfer station is most important.

*Some private vendors that pick up recyclables have two bins (one for paper products, the other for metal/plastic/glass), while others have three (where cardboard is separated from paper board and paper).