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RememberSchiff

Is Recycling As A Fundraiser Sustainable?

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We dropped newspaper/magazine recycling long ago. Lower collection volumes, lower recycle payouts.

 

We have thought of sponsoring an "electronics" collection but other groups jumped in. Word is they barely broken even. Some roadside dumping occurred too, as some did not want to pay to drop off their 30yr old cathode-tube TV., etc

 

We still do bottle and can recycling but revenue has been down. Some blame the economy as folks do their own returns.

 

Recycling revenue is shrinking while the troop activities expenses are growing.

 

Anyway this recent article lead to this topic.

http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/boy-scouts-stop-collecting-recyclables-from-area-businesses/article_8f331e52-8ec7-5895-a26e-a541e7178c27.html

 

Oops that overused word sustainable...I'm a little teapot. Short and stout...

Edited by RememberSchiff

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We started doing the cans in January. We average about $10/month. Not a lot but every penny helps.

 

$10/month? Overall? How much labor/materials goes in to getting that $10?

Edited by Bad Wolf

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When I was a Scout we did newspaper/magazine collection and recycling for awhile. I have no idea what we made or whether it was worth the effort.

 

I am not aware of any troops that do paper recycling around here. Another group I was involved in made some good money for awhile doing scrap metal recycling, ranging from cans to some large abandoned items. That really depended on having someone(s) willing to go where needed, in some cases with the proper vehicle, to pick up the medium-sized and larger items, and also to store those items until it was time to go to the recycling plant. As I recall the prices also fluctuated wildly, to the point where sometimes it didn't really make sense to do it and other times we were getting hundreds per month.

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Once a year our troop did a city-wide newspaper pickup that brought in 2-cents per ton.  :)  Now that won't even pay for the gas to go collect it.

 

My city now does 100% recycling.  I have two 60 gal garbage cans, one for garbage, one for recycling.  The recycling goes out every two weeks and the garbage gets set out about once ever 6-7 weeks.  Yard waste is dropped off and turned into mulch and compost by the city.  Residents can pick that up for free.

 

The city has a waste disposal site that looks more like a park than a dump and 95% of the garbage is incinerated for electricity.  Once a month all electronics can be dropped off for free, otherwise there's a fee.

 

Medicines and hazardous waste (motor oil, paints, herbicides, etc,) is collected separately at various convenient sites once a month.

 

Every non-profit in the area has staked out their aluminum can recycling and those who make the effort do contribute, but it's far easier just to toss it into the city recycle process.

 

Recycling for us would be a total waste of time and effort.

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When I was a Scout we did newspaper/magazine collection and recycling for awhile. I have no idea what we made or whether it was worth the effort.

 

@@Stosh is right. My dad was our TCC back in the day. We did newspapers in our area. Got the trailer (18 wheeler) and usually filled that thing to the end every month. Took it to the center and got our cash. According to my father we cleared $350/month when we filled the thing (after expenses). The trailer was donated and the driver was one of the dads who had a commercial license. Made enough to buy our own troop bus (Think Partridge Family but BSA green).

 

With the cost of gas, prevalence/convenience of local recycling programs and limitations by recycling companies (only taking 1's and 2's instead of all plastics sorted) I suspect the net on such a program would be very, very small.

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It didn't work out well for Kramer and Newman either.

 

That was Jerry's fault for not taking care of his Saab, otherwise it would have worked. ;)

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Recycling is not a good fundraiser.   Ranks at the bottom, along with car washes.   Lots of hard work with little payoff.

 

The only time I saw it work was when I was SPL, and the SM had connections with a couple of squadrons at an Air Force base.   They allowed us to haul away their computer printouts (this was the late '70s), which was a huge amount of paper.   We filled the SM's Mazda hatchback to the gills and took it all to a local recycler.  Usually several trips a Saturday.    I don't recall what we got paid, but even then it was only considered "fair" and certainly not "great."

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$10/month? Overall? How much labor/materials goes in to getting that $10?

 

Not a lot of work. Folks just bring in cans. My oldest son and his brothers do the crushing if they are not already crushed. Storage can be a problem though. One guy donated 2.5 fifty-five gallon garbage bags full of crushed cans one time. He had been saving the cans for over 10 years.

 

Edited: when scouts bring cans, they are already crushed. I have some folks not invovled in the troop bringing me cans. Hence my hoodlums involvement.

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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Oh , the history.

I was the dad with the pick up truck for my daughter's class...   They entered a "Ecology" contest and we collected aluminum cans for about a month, crushed, filled up the back of the P/U. It had a "cap"  on it, as I remember, we won with about a ton (!) of AL.

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Is recycling sustainable?  Well, it can be!  Prices for scrap are cyclical; you need a place to store the stuff until buying season.  Get aluminum cans at the source -- meaning there is a collection barrel placed in every large store or office complex for you to draw from.  Paint something like "Support Boy Scout Troop ### by donating your empty can.  Conserve Earth's resources"

 

Once or twice a week have each patrol or den take their little red wagons up and down the neighborhood picking up the empties people will save for them if collections are without fail 

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This works well in areas where recycling is not mandatory.  EVERYTHING in the community I have my unit in requires everyone to recycle and have bi-weekly pickup.  Very little "garbage" is actually produced.  Even the yard waste is recycled into compost by the city.  No one is going to separate out aluminum cans just for the scouts.  Other scrap metal?  Scrappers are picking up stuff all over the place and basically do this for a living.

 

When this policy went into effect, a lot of homeless people got into trouble for taking cans out of the city park garbage containers because once in the garbage container it belongs to the recycle business.  It was viewed as theft.  People who went up and down the street doing curb picking, that halted that unless the homeowner put a sign on it stating it was free for anyone to pick up.  Big items like sofas, etc. would be put out like this otherwise the homeowner needs to pay to have it hauled away.

 

It's better to check out the viability of the area before jumping in with both feet.

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