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Find a Market for Your Recyclables

Before you start collecting recyclable materials, it is important to find a market for them. Not all markets will pay for recyclables. Some will require you to pay a small fee, but it is often more cost effective to pay recycling fees than to pay disposal fees for the material.

Several types of companies purchase recyclables, including haulers, processors, and end users—generally referred to as "vendors." In many cases, a vendor will be easy to find in the telephone book, however, additional research might be required. Occasionally, a new market might need to be developed for a material. Your local or state government recycling offices, the local Chamber of Commerce, or a local or regional recycling organization might be able to help you find or develop markets for materials you intend to collect. In addition, other businesses might be able to use these materials. An organization, such as a "waste exchange," can provide the necessary communication link between those who have materials that could be recycled and those who are looking for materials to use in their production processes.

Questions to Ask Potential Buyers of Recyclables
When meeting with companies interested in purchasing your recyclable materials, there are a number of questions you should ask. After speaking with the vendor, be sure to check references! Obtain and thoroughly check the buyer's references with existing contract holders, asking these organizations specifically whether their buyer is fulfilling all contract specifications.


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