By Lake Saint Louis Green Environmental Committee
Per recent news, China is no longer accepting recycled materials from the United States of America because of the amount of contaminated materials. Many municipalities in our country are being affected by this, which is true for Lake Saint Louis with our single stream recycling service. Our trash hauler, Meridian Waste, contracts with a large regional recycling facility for sorting and shipping recycled materials. This facility will no longer accept single stream recycling after October 31, 2018. The City of Lake Saint Louis is currently pursuing an arrangement with the City of St. Peter’s recycling center to take over the processing of recycling for our city.
Meridian Waste will continue to be our hauler. If St. Peters does start processing our recyclables there will be a probationary period to verify that there is an acceptable minimum of contaminated materials. If the percentage of contaminated recyclables is too large we will not be able to continue recycling with St. Peters. Meridian Waste is working with Lake Saint Louis to continue our weekly residential recycling service. Meridian Waste is hiring one additional staff member who will be responsible for answering questions about recycling. Further information about the helpline is forthcoming, and residents will receive information from our city and Meridian Waste as decisions are finalized about our revised recycling program. Reducing contamination in your recycle container is essential for success of this program.
What we know now about future recycling services:
1. Single stream recycling services will continue and will include aluminum, plastics and metals. A good way to remember is the acceptable materials are capable of holding liquids.
2. Any materials put out for curbside pick-up shall be clean, non-contaminated with food or other wastes.
3. Recycling services for paper, cardboard, and glass will discontinue.
What can you do now:
1. Make a practice of only putting cleaned recyclables in the bin. As an example, peanut butter left in a jar can contaminate a bin and perhaps a load of recyclables. Small amounts of water used to clean the material and the materials noted above shall be the only items in your recycling bin. Remove small caps and paper labels (if easily removable) from recyclables.
2. Find a place to continue paper and cardboard recycling. St. Charles County Recycle Works – West, on Pitman Avenue, in Wentzville, is one place that accepts paper and cardboard, along with many other sorted items for recycling. Go to the following website for a list of all materials that are recycled nearby at this county facility – https://www.sccmo.org/877/Recycle-Works-West.