Waste Connections, the company that manages disposal for the city of Berea, sent a statement to the city explaining that this week will be the last week the company will accept paper recyclables after the Lexington Recycling Center announced it would no longer accept paper products.
The statement reads: “Due to changes in the commodities market, the Lexington Recycling Center (LRC) has suspended paper recycling until further notice. The LRC is currently at capacity with the storage of mixed paper and have not found an outlet at this time. They are working diligently with their vendors and hope to have a solution by the end of fall. Until this occurs, we are asking that all residents refrain from throwing the following items in the recycling containers; office paper, newspaper, magazines, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls and all similar items. These items will have to be placed in the trash receptacle until further notice.”
Waste Connections said it will take the products through this week, with May 24 being the last day, but a flyer will be placed in all of the receptacles with suspended items. The next week, the collection service will no longer pick up mixed paper items.
Last Thursday, Berea City Administrator Randy Stone said he had spoken with Waste Connections, and the city would not be releasing a statement to whether it would continue to pick up paper recycling until the upcoming Berea Council meeting on Tuesday.
However, Berea isn’t the only one to no longer accept the paper products as many cities across the country are suspending recycling operations altogether after China raised its standards for the cleanliness of recycling materials it would buy, upending the market for recycled products, according to the Herald Leader.
The Lexington facility is one that serves most of the central Kentucky region, including Berea, Frankfort, Franklin County, Georgetown, Harrison County, Jessamine County, Madison County, Nicholasville, Paris, Versailles, Winchester and Woodford County.
Madison County, who also used the LRC for recycling, announced last week that it would no longer accept paper products for recycling as well.
“There is no quick solution, but we are looking at ways to fix it,” Madison County Deputy Judge/Executive Colleen Chaney said at the time.
In Richmond, the recycling department is its own department of city government, and the city has trash collected through a franchise agreement with Advanced Disposal, according to City Manager Rob Minerich. Richmond is still collecting paper recyclables.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.