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Citing Changes To Global Markets, Lexington Suspends Paper Recycling

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 14, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – Lexington officials announced Tuesday that the city is suspending paper recycling amid changes in global markets.

“Outlets for paper products are accepting only limited amounts due to an overabundance of material in domestic markets,” Nancy Albright, Lexington’s Commissioner of Environmental Quality and Public Works, said in a statement. “The Recycle Center does not have the space to store the paper long-term, or in large quantities.”

The move was effective immediately, officials said, but does not include dry, corrugated cardboard, which still will be accepted.

But most paper products — including “office paper, newspaper, magazines, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls and similar products” — should be placed in the trash, officials said.

In addition to recycling in Lexington, the change also affects material sent 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.

“Residents in all of these communities are encouraged to temporarily refrain from putting paper products in their recycling containers.”

Officials said the suspension is temporary and that it hopes to line up customers for the recycled paper. They blamed much of the change to higher standards for recycled paper by China.

Lexington officials also said they are looking to upgrade the city’s glass recycling program.