No retreat on recycling

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The paper line at Rumpke’s recycling operation (Photo courtesy of Rumpke Waste & Recycling)

Covington efforts gaining momentum despite pullback elsewhere

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington residents should continue recycling paper products, and residents should rest assured that those products and others are going to mills to be broken down and reused - NOT dumped into landfills.
That’s the message from the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling division and the company that collects its raw products, Rumpke Waste & Recycling, despite recent news out of Central Kentucky.
Lexington - Kentucky’s second-largest city - announced Tuesday that it would no longer recycle paper and paper products from Lexington and 12 nearby cities and counties. It joins a list of local governments across the country that have suspended recycling operations in response to the decision by China - a huge market for recycled goods collected in the United States - to limit its purchase of such materials.
Disturbed by the Lexington development, Covington Solid Waste & Recycling Coordinator Sheila Fields checked with Rumpke, and the response was quick and reassuring, she said. “Recycling is continuing here without interruption. We aren’t altering our acceptable items list,” Fields said she was told.
Coincidentally, Fields said, Rumpke sent a letter a few weeks ago assuring Covington officials that all recycling material collected here was being sent to an end user. The letter was prompted by reports that some recyclers were being forced by the loss of the Chinese market to dump the collected material into landfills.
In fact, Rumpke felt so strongly about the issue that it released a YouTube video - shown HERE - explaining its operations.
“So the message for residents in Covington is one of confidence,” Fields said. “They should know that when they do their part to reduce the flow of garbage into landfills, the system works.”
Fields said Covington residents recycled 178.1 tons of paper, plastic and metal in March of this year. The number of recycling “accounts” is 1,050 higher than it was three years ago.
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