May 23, 2019
On May 14, 2019, Madison County’s Environmental and Animal Care Department received notice that the City of Lexington will temporarily be suspending their recycling of paper products effective immediately. The statement from the City of Lexington was as follows:
‘”Outlets for paper products are accepting only limited amounts due to an overabundance of material in domestic markets,” said Nancy Albright, Lexington’s Commissioner of Environmental Quality and Public Works. “The Recycle Center does not have the space to store the paper long-term, or in large quantities.” The city is actively seeking new recycling outlets for paper, Albright said. “At least three new nearby mills are expected to begin receiving materials by late fall of 2019.”
The change affects the materials Lexington Recycle Center (or Lexington Materials Recovery Facility) receives from public and private waste haulers in Lexington and many other Central Kentucky communities, including, Berea, Frankfort, Franklin County, Georgetown, Harrison County, Jessamine County, Madison County, Nicholasville, Paris, Versailles, Winchester and Woodford County.’
This impacts Madison County recycling since the County is a single source recycling program. All recycling products collected in Madison County are processed at Lexington’s Recycling Center.
“We have been watching the internationally policy, especially as it relates to China’s policy on recycling, for some time,” said Judge Executive Reagan Taylor. “The shift in market demand has left the American recycle system turned on its head. We will continue to monitor the trends and cost of recycle programming to ensure we are providing the best option for our residents.”
This means that County residents who reside where recycle service is an option will have their paper pickup suspended indefinitely. All other forms of products will continue to be collected. A flyer will be placed in recycle bins outlining the change during this week’s pickup.
The City of Richmond and the City of Berea have different systems for hauling recyclables so any questions related to their recycle plans in light of this announcement should be directed to those governmental entities. It is important to note that the City of Richmond is not a single source collection system which means collaboration, at this time, is not feasible and the City of Berea utilizes private haulers for the pickup of their recycle products.