Columbia Public Works increases plastics collected for recycling

3 years 7 months 1 week ago Wednesday, January 07 2015 Jan 7, 2015 Wednesday, January 07, 2015 7:45:00 AM CST January 07, 2015 in News
By: Katie Grunik, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Works announced Wednesday it will now accept plastics one through seven in both curbside and drop-off collections. 

According to the Solid Waste Division, the plastics should be placed in labeled containers or blue bags placed curbside. Examples of the newly accepted materials are plastic drinking cups, plastic food containers like yogurt cups and empty plastic prescription bottles. 

"We know our customers have been asking us to increase the types of plastics they can place in the recycling stream," said Public Works Director John Glascock. "We're pleased that we have been able to reconfigure our material recovery facility to accept these additional plastics and that we have been able to find a buyer for the materials."

Items still not collected include plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, plastic drink lids and plastic newspaper sleeves. 

"Columbia's diversion rate, the items recycled and not placed in the landfill, is only 17 percent," said Barbara Buffaloe, Columbia sustainability manager. "Our goal, over the next few years, is to increase the diversion rate to or above the national average of 34 percent. Collecting more items is a great start."

The city will update its website soon to help customers identify which materials that can be recycled. 

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