The following contains the exact language (italicized) currently found in a standard commercial Waste Management contract specifically related to recycling services.  In addition to excerpts from the contractual agreement, we will follow up with a plain-language interpretation.

Collected Recyclable Materials for which no commercially reasonable market exists may be landfilled at Customer’s Cost.   (iv) Recycling Services are subject to a Recyclable Material Offset (RMO) charge to the extent that (a) Company’s processing cost per ton, including costs of disposal for contamination, plus profit margin, exceeds (b) an amount equal to recyclables value per ton minus an amount for profit margin. The RMO charge, including profit margin, processing and disposal costs and recyclable value shall be determined by Company from time-to-time, in its sole discretion, based on applicable operating data and market information. If recyclables value exceeds processing costs, plus profit margin, a RMO credit may apply, at Company’s sole discretion.

[Plain English:  If the stuff you are trying to recycle has no value in the commodities market, your stuff will be landfilled and YOU will pay for it.  How?  If you take a look at your most recent Waste management recycling services bill, you’ll notice a Recyclable Material Offset fee.   This is how you are paying for it.  Years ago, recycling was cheaper than landfilling.  Now, to make up for the problem that recycling is EQUAL to the cost of landfill, the company needs to make up the cost difference and they will pass these fees on to you.  …and by the way, they aren’t just adding the RMO to make up for the cost difference.  They also need to make a profit.  How much profit?   It will be up to the Company to decide this.

Finally, let’s just pretend that the recycling markets all of the sudden turn around and now the value of cardboard, plastics, metals, etc. becomes great again.  Guess what?  You will now get a credit.  I would love it if someone would show me where they are receiving a credit on their invoice.  Please reach out to us immediately if you see this and we will make it worth your while.]

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