The Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County has a 10-year put or pay contract with the Recovered Materials Processing Facility (RMPF) operator FCR that came up for renewal on January 16, 2006. At that time Athens-Clarke County renewed the contract for a period of five years. Athens-Clarke County pays the operator processing or tip fees to process, sort, and market the recyclables. The fee paid is based on a sliding or variable schedule, with lower processing fees per ton as tonnage increases. In addition, Athens-Clarke County receives an 80% share of the revenues from the sale of recyclables processed at the RMPF. The revenues help to offset expenses.
As tonnage increased and market prices improved for recyclables, the cost of processing has declined dramatically. In FY 1996 (July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1996), the net cost per ton (after revenues) to process recyclable material was $78.61 compared with a net profit of $9.45 per ton in FY 2005, 10 years later.