By Emily Turner

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The online shopping boom is creating mountains of cardboard and plastic piling up at Bay Area recycling centers and could lead to a higher recycling rates for San Francisco residents.

It’s a less-than–lovely side effect of convenience.

A recycling plant in San Francisco is piled high with the delivery boxes used to carry everything residents decided to have delivered rather than go out to purchase from a store.

When asked what he used the Internet to get delivered, San Francisco resident Da’ron Satchell replied, “Oh God, everything. Everything.”

And that’s exactly what is behind the piles of boxes being compacted into huge cubes at Recology’s San Francisco recycling center: stacks of boxes from clothing stores, meal order services and Amazon boxes a plenty.

Delivery services have become so popular, Recology had to update its plant to process the cardboard that carries it all to your door.

“These things didnt exist in such numbers ten years ago, said Recology spokesman Robert Reed. We had to modify our system to those changes in the material stream.”

And those modifications come at a cost to cover new truck routes, new sorting machines and more labor.

So after three years of flat rates, Recology is asking San Francisco for a 14 percent hike.

There are a combination of things behind the request more expensive landfill space, new ways to handle compost, but this avalanche of packing materials is a big part of why costs are piling up.

The Recology rate hike has been tentatively approved, but there is still time for customers to protest it.

Comments
  1. We ban plastic bags thinking it would solve the garbage problem. Now shopping is a hassle and we expose everyone to the germs in our cars from kids, animals and of course the bacteria that builds up on those reuse bags. Instead of raising garbage rates, start taxing boxes. Somehow what we really have to learn is that it is our over consumption that is killing our planet.

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