Recycling costly, but only for Wilkes-Barre

In the June edition of the Independent Gazette we reported NRS (Northeast Cartage and Recycling Solutions) Account Executive Ann Keating had been faxing a flyer to local municipalities in an attempt to solicit their single-stream recycling business. “Single-stream” refers to consolidated, rather than segregated, processing of different types of recyclable refuse. The flyer obtained by the Independent Gazette listed the following per ton pricing:

Newsprint   $55.00
Cardboard  $90.00
Mixed Paper $62.25
(news, cardboard, magazines, phone books, junk mail, etc.)
Co-mingles Containers  $39.43
(Type 1-7 plastics, alum & steel cans, glass bottles)
Single-Stream Recycling  $54.34
Price is market price indexed, tied to national industry publications, and will recalculate on the first of each month to reflect the actual current market.

MRI Recylcing

MRI Recylcing

In responding to questioning arising as a result of that article as to why the city was only being paid a flat rate of $500 per month for the nearly 200 tons of materials generated by the city while NRS offers the above rates to their other municipal clients, Mayor Tom Leighton claimed, “NRS is the only single-stream recycler in northeast Pennsylvania.”

MRI Recycling (Municipal Recovery, Inc.), located in Wilkes-Barre City has been a single-stream recycler since January 2012, offering similar single-stream services to other area municipalities. The city of Wilkes-Barre transitioned to single-stream recycling with NRS in February 2012, and at that time NRS was utilizing the services of MRI and receiving payments from MRI for the delivery of single-stream materials to MRI via city trucks.

Documents obtained via Right-to-Know (RTK) requests indicate that the city also paid NRS more than $133,000 over a three-year period for recycling related services and fees:

2009    Northeast        $33,735.62
2010    Northeast        $28,245.84
2011    Northeast        $71,469.60

The figures for years 2012 and 2013 have been requested via an RTK request, which is currently under review by the city.

Messages left for Angelo Medico and Frank Nockley, owners of NRS, seeking comment were not immediately returned.

When questioned as to why the city would pay NRS for a service for which NRS should be compensating the city, Leighton responded with, “NRS guarantees they will always accept our recycling materials, and anyone else who claims otherwise is just a sales pitch to get you, and then they drop you.”

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