OLR Research Report

March 12, 2010




By: Meghan Reilly, Legislative Analyst II

You asked for a comparison of solid waste disposal and recycling fees for New England and New York.


Solid waste disposal tip fees range from between $32 and $46 per ton in Rhode Island to between $70.25 and $100 in Maine. Connecticut's tip fees generally range between $57 and $70 per ton.

Although we were unable to find average recycling fees by state, we have included examples of fees imposed by recycling facilities in the seven northeast states. These fees vary by state, contract, and recyclable item. Based on our limited sample, recycling fees range as high as $90 per ton by a facility in Maine, while a Massachusetts company offers a $70 rebate per ton of baled corrugated cardboard. A current Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) recycling program charges no fee or grants rebates for recyclables delivered with municipal solid waste to their facilities.


Table 1 shows the average tip fees in the northeast, according to the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA), an interstate association composed of the organizations administering hazardous waste, solid waste, waste site cleanup, and pollution prevention programs (http://www.newmoa.org/). In some cases, the averages are presented as a range, reflecting differences in the way the states aggregate data.

Table 1: Average Tip Fees in the Northeast (2009)


Average Cost (Per Ton)


$57 - $70


$70.25 - $100



New Hampshire


New York


Rhode Island

$32 -$46



Source: CRRA for Connecticut; NEWMOA staff for all other states



CRRA charges no recycling fees to member towns paying a tipping fee for waste delivered to the Mid-Connecticut and Bridgeport facilities. This policy applies to recyclables delivered to the Hartford and Stratford recycling facilities and includes recycling electronic items that are treated differently than other recyclables. Currently, according to the CRRA, municipalities are receiving a $6 per ton rebate for recyclables sent to those facilities.

A 2010 informal survey by the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (www.NERC.org) asked several northeast states, including New York and the New England states, for their recycling costs. We summarize the Council's findings below.


Most of Maine's public recycling processing facilities accept recyclables at no charge. Those that do charge a fee generally charge below $30 per ton, however a few facilities charge $50 and $90 per ton. Fees vary based on the availability of single stream recycling services, whether a facility charges by the type of material delivered, the community's recycling rate, and returns from the sale of recyclables.


Recycling fees at Waste Management Recycling America's Avon, Massachusetts facility vary depending on the ratio of the dry waste to the recyclables. In January 2009, the charges per ton were:

● residential single stream: $10

● dry waste less than 30% residue: $50

● dry waste greater than 30% residue: $65

The recycling rebates per ton were:

● loose corrugated cardboard: $50

● baled corrugated cardboard: $70

● commercial single stream: $12

● residential mixed paper or newspaper: $35

● sorted office paper: $65

● printer's mix paper: $60

● colored ledger paper: $60

New Hampshire

Recycling fees in New Hampshire are usually based on the cost of delivering waste to a facility. Several companies are taking recyclables for free, particularly those that go to a single stream.

New York

In New York, there is generally no cost for resident recycling at drop-off sites, transfer stations, and in municipalities providing curbside pickup. According to the New York State Association for Reduction Reuse and Recycling, in New York's Albany region, commingled container fees range from $35 to $75 per ton and paper commodities range from $0 to $50 per ton.

Rhode Island

According to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, it charges different fees for municipalities, commercial customers, and “walk-ins,” and also for different items. No fee is charged for commercial recyclables in the form of newspaper, mixed paper, or rigid plastics. A $5 surcharge is placed on each ton of waste delivered if no recyclables are included (http://www.rirrc.org/content/index.php?id=about-us/services/).


When recyclables are collected by curbside pickup, the average recycling fee is $35.28 per ton. Most drop-offs and transfer stations do not charge a direct fee for recycling, but recoup recycling costs in the waste disposal fees.