Lexington will suspend paper recycling

Lexington will suspend paper recycling

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Paper Recycling: someone putting paper in a green recycle bin

Lexington Recycling Center announced they are temporarily suspending paper recycling. For how long? Why? What should Lexington residents do with their paper?

Lexington Recycling Center is being forced to temporarily suspend the recycling of paper products due to the global market. This change goes into effect immediately.

Paper Recycling: a big construction vehicle driving over paper

With this sudden change, the city is actively seeking a new recycling outlet for paper. Nancy Albright, Lexington’s Commissioner of Environmental Quality and Public Works, said at least three new nearby mills are expected to begin receiving materials by late fall of 2019.

“Outlets for paper products are accepting only limited amounts due to an overabundance of material in domestic markets,” said Albright. “The Recycle Center does not have the space to store the paper long-term, or in large quantities.”

Due to increased standards in China, recycling markets across the country are under strain. The past several months the city has given mixed paper and paperboard away to avoid sending it to the landfill.

To reduce processing costs, residents are encouraged to throw office paper, newspaper, magazines, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, and similar products in their trash cans. Lexington still has a buyer for dry corrugated cardboard like moving and shipping boxes. Residents are asked to continue to recycle cardboard that is dry.

The Recycle Center will combine the paper products it receives and give the paper to recycling outlets, when possible. Unclaimed paper will be taken to a landfill. This process will remain in effect until a reliable recycling outlet is available.

Paper Recycling: someone putting paper in a green recycle bin

This change will affect the materials Lexington Recycle Center (or Lexington Materials Recovery Facility) will receive from public and private waste haulers. Berea, Frankfort, Franklin County, Georgetown, Harrison County, Jessamine County, Madison County, Nicholasville, Paris, Versailles, Winchester, and Woodford County are also affected by this change.

For more information, click here.

The city is taking this time to explore improving glass recycling. The current single-stream set-up does cause equipment to break-down and does not produce the most desirable recycling product.

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