County cuts back on scrap metal recycling

"The Kitsap County Solid Waste Division has recently decided that scrap metal is no longer accepted for recycling at most Drop Box locations.We stopped taking scrap metal at the beginning of July, said County Recycling Coordinator Dave Peters.Items the general public would bring in that would constitute scrap metal include old bicycles, pipes, sheet metal, old fencing, and frequently, old, rusty car parts.That was part of the problem, said Peters of the amount of car parts donated to the Drop Box locations, mentioning that the waste division will adhere to the state law that car parts must be examined by state police before being thrown away or recycled (i.e.: to check for stolen parts).Other reasons for the exemption of scrap metal from accepted material to be recycled include a decline in worth.The value of scrap metal was going down and down and down, said Peters.He also said that local recycling markets for scrap metal are dwindling because of an abundance of cheaper steel entering the country from Asia.Whenever you have recyling, you're competing with an international marketplace, said Peters. With the exchange rate being so valuable, the foreign countries can sell steel for much cheaper. The local steelmakers can't compete, they lose money-so they're not buying scrap metal.Drop Box locations that will no longer take scrap metal include those in Bainbridge Island, Hansville, Olalla, Poulsbo, and Silverdale. Only the locations at Navy City Metals in Gorst and the recycle center at the Olympic View Sanitary Landfill will still accept scrap metal for recycling.It's their primary business, said Peters of why Navy City Metals still takes scrap metal. They tend to get higher quality scrap. (And Olympic View Sanitary Landfill) Waste management decided to have at least one place where people could recycle, even if it would lose money.Peters says that recycling could be resumed at the locations, but that watching the market for scrap metal value increase is integral for that to happen.One of the common misconceptions is that recycling makes money, said Peters. We're lucky if we break even. "

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