NewsCovering Kentucky


New program announced for recycling paper in Lexington

Posted at 9:38 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 07:00:30-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Reuse, recycle, repurpose. We're constantly being encouraged to do the little things to keep our city clean and keep as much as we can out of the landfill. The city of Lexington announced a new pilot program for the recycling center on Tuesday.

But for months, we've been told the opposite when it comes to paper. But Tuesday, Mayor Linda Gorton announced a pilot program that might save paper recycling for the city.

Back in May, it became clear nobody wanted our paper. The city couldn't find a company taking recycled paper. So, we were told to send it on to the landfill with all the other garbage.

"The paper that we produce is pretty dirty," Angela Poe, Senior Program Manager, said. "If you look behind me, this doesn't look like a pile of paper. That is a huge problem if you're trying to take paper and turn it into something new."

Wet, covered in left over food or entangled in other things that aren't made of paper. That's the reason the city is having trouble finding a market for paper and paper products. But a new pilot program could be answer. It will start with the city, employees will be asked to separate the clean paper and drop that in special bins.

"We will take that in these containers, collect it, bale that. Then hopefully someone will be like, 'yeah! We'll take that and do something with it,'" Poe said.

But this method is just testing the waters to see if it will work. If it does, then it will expand through the entire community so Lexington will have proper recycling back. In the meantime, the recycle center says the best way to support the environment is to recycle properly, by only putting things in the bin they've asked for.

"Dry cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and jugs. And we're still accepting glass," Poe said. "Those are all things that can go in the blue cart and our machines are up for processing."

The city is hopeful this method will work so everyone can recycle again but in the meantime, the city asks to continue to use as little paper as possible.