Recycling exec sees trash as an economic indicator
Post-holiday household trash and recycleables await pick-up Monday morning on the north side of Manchester. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
In a recession, he said, volume decreases. But as it eases, if somebody gets a job in June, by December he feels confident enough to buy a new big-screen TV. And if not for Christmas, by the time of the Super Bowl, said Fusco.
Manchester Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard agreed.
"December, January and February are among our lighter months (for weight), less than an average month," he said.
Allgaier said there is a significant increase in volume every year around the holidays. Wrapping paper, cards, corrugated cardboard.
Looking back over a decade, he said: "When the economy was better, there was more. … It does show up in the waste stream."
When the economy slows, he said: "There is less home renovation, construction, demolition." Again, a lagging economic indicator, but an indicator nonetheless.
"Most recycling programs have gone from a two (stream) to a single stream," said Allgaier. "As long as a processing center doesn't have a problem with it, we don't have a problem," he said. What New Hampshire lacks, he said, is a single-stream processing facility. So Pinard takes its collections out of state to Charlestown, Mass., and Albany, N.Y.
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