FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. - We all know there's a cost to the environment every time we throw away a plastic bottle or toss paper into the trash. However, if you use a big recycle bin at home, there's a cost for a company to come collect those recyclables.
Twenty-two thousand people live in an unincorporated section of Forsyth County. Last year, the county launched a new curbside recycling program for just $2.65 a month. But, few people signed-up.
Kristen Daukas is one of the few people in unincorporated Forsyth County who took advantage of the recycling program. When she received a notice Waste Management was leaving and Waste Industries was taking over, she didn't think much about it. Then, she realized her bill was going up 226 percent from about $32 a year to about $100 a year.
"It's just such a huge increase," Daukas said. "Is that a lot of money? No, not really. But, it's just one more thing. Oh great, here goes another bill that's going up."
Waste Management backed out because it was losing money picking up recyclables there. The county asked for bids from more than twenty companies. Only one responded.
"It's still a great value. It's the best value," Forsyth County Office of Environmental Assistance and Protection Program Manager Michael Settle said. "We feel like it's a service that should be provided for the people that would like to participate."
Now, it's just a question of if the price increase will drive people away.
"We will do it because it is important to the environment, but at a cost. It's a larger cost," Daukas said.
The new recycling company takes over next month.