For more than thirty years, Ford Schumann and Infinity Recycling survived a revenue balancing act to offer recycling services to towns in four upper shore counties. The private and public sector combination of non-profit organization and town/county government succeeded. Residents could recycle trash at affordable subscription rates.
Schumann recently announced that Infinity would be curtailing pick-up services by the end of May as Chestertown sought a new recycling company.
“This year, we looked at our numbers and knew we’d really have to double our rates, maybe even more, and that too many people would quit and we wouldn’t have enough volume to continue,” Schumann says.
Over the years, various revenue formulas have been used to keep the curbside recycling service going to survive the ever-changing per ton value of glass, metal, and other recyclables.
With the pandemic shutdowns impacting Infinity’s ability to find more subscribers and town and county cutbacks, Schumann saw the writing on the wall. The slim profit margins typical in the recycling business wouldn’t be enough to sustain it.
Here, Ford Schumann discusses Infinity’s thirty-three-year run, the volatile nature of recycling costs, and what it takes for a community to provide the collecting and processing of materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turn them into new products.
This video is approximately ten minutes in length.