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12-09-2015 - 15-111 - Friedman Recycling of Albuquerque, LLC – Contract Revenue

The citizens of Albuquerque have an opportunity to increase the City’s recycling revenue and reduce expenses by increasing the overall weight of recycled commodities, focusing recycling efforts on those commodities that have higher index pricing and reducing the amount of residual/contaminated materials placed in recycling bins. The City’s recycling program and contract with Friedman have been successful. Since 2011, more than 91,000 tons (over 182 million pounds) of recyclable materials have been diverted from the landfill and delivered to Friedman to be recycled. Without the recycling program of today, those materials would be taking up space in the landfill, increasing the City’s disposal costs, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. By continuing to educate and increase participation in the recycling program, the City, through its contract with Friedman, may further reap the benefits of recycling such as saving energy and resources.

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Executive Summary

In 2011, the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) contracted with Friedman to construct a local area single-stream Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). A single-stream MRF is a recycling facility that can accept, sort, and process comingled recyclable materials. Friedman completed the MRF construction and began accepting city-wide recyclable materials in 2013.

The contract between the City and Friedman specifies that the City will deliver a minimum of 3,200 tons of recyclable materials to Friedman monthly. Although the City has not consistently reached the minimum delivery goal of 3,200 tons per month, the amount of recyclable materials delivered to Friedman is increasing.

The audit found certain errors and discrepancies with regard to the calculations of recycling revenue and tipping fees. However, each error had been identified by either the SWMD or Friedman and accurately corrected prior to the audit. Discrepancies were noted on the tipping fee schedule but were also corrected prior to having any financial impact to the City. As a result, no findings have been included in this report.

Benefits

Since 2011, more than 91,000 tons (over 182 million pounds) of recyclable materials have been diverted from the landfill and delivered to Friedman to be recycled. Without the recycling program of today, those materials would be taking up space in the landfill, increasing the City’s disposal costs, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

By continuing to educate and increase participation in the recycling program, the City, through its contract with Friedman, may further reap the benefits of recycling such as saving energy and resources.

Recycling helps keep disposal costs down while preserving natural resources and protecting the air, soil, and groundwater. Much of the more than 1,800 tons of trash generated by the City each day can be recycled.