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County sets fee for drop-off recyclables


KINDERHOOK–The Town Board has authorized the Town Clerk to sell permits to residents who bring their recycling to the county’s waste stations.

Currently there is no charge to bring recyclables to any of the county’s waste stations, but starting in 2019 the county will charge $50 for one-year-long permits per household and $35 for residents 65 and older. There will be a $100 fee for residents from outside the county.

The county Solid Waste Department said this week that it plans to have more information about the permits later this month. Town clerks will be able to sell the permits to residents if the towns agree to participate in the permit program. This will only be for residents who use the county’s Solid Waste Department’s stations for recycling. Several villages, including Valatie and Kinderhook, which are both in the Town of Kinderhook, use a private company called County Waste from Greene County to pick up residents’ recycling and garbage at their houses.

The county takes sorted recyclables including tin and aluminum food and beverage cans, plastic bottles, jugs, tubs or jars #1, 2 and 5, glass bottles and aseptic containers (plastic coated milk and juice containers). The Columbia County Recycling Protocol chart is available online at and (in the “Please, no more ‘aspirational’ recycling” story).

The county’s website says, “Please make sure your recyclables are free from any outer packaging and lids/caps. Do not flatten your tin and aluminum cans. Do not include antifreeze or motor oil bottles, as they are not recyclable–they should be placed with your garbage.”

The county also takes commingled paper products including newspaper, corrugated cardboard, magazines, junk mail, office paper, brown bags, phone books, cereal boxes, tissue and shoe boxes. “This material should be kept separate, placed in a brown bag or tied with twine,” the website says.

The new permits will not start until January.

In September, Columbia Paper reporter Debby Mayer interviewed Jolene Race, director of the Columbia County Solid Waste Department about recycling in the county. At the time, Ms. Race said, “The county is exploring options to help offset the cost of recycling. Nothing is for free, and the county is paying a lot for recycling. There’s no market, and costs for transportation and processing are high.”

At the December 5 town meeting, Kinderhook Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said the “tipping fees”–what the county pays for a private hauler, Casella Recycling, to remove the recycling–have “soared” and that the county needed to deal with the problem. Mr. Grattan and Ed Simonsen, a Kinderhook resident and the town’s representative on the county Environmental Management Council, talked about the issue now that China is no longer accepting recyclables from the U.S.

Mr. Simonsen said that without being able to export the recycling, “now it’s going to cost [the county Waste Department] a fortune.”

Mr. Grattan applauded China for setting air quality standards for the first time and said that the issue with recycling “is a problem everybody faces.”

In a statement on the county’s website, the Solid Waste Department wrote about the issue with China, “Although the US exports a significant amount of recyclables, domestic markets do exist and may expand, perhaps as a direct result of China’s actions. However, these developments

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