Recycling reduces waste, creates jobs for Kentucky residents

December 21, 2011 by  

In the 2011 fiscal year, Lexington processed 25,000 tons of recyclables and brought in $2.4 million by selling it to processors downstream. Not only did the city save $700,000 in landfill fees, it created jobs for those who recycle and handle trash and associated waste; in short, recycling is paying for itself.

‘The more everyone recycles, the more it’s beneficial for everyone involved,’ including companies that use the recycled material, said Steve Feese, director of waste management for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

Lexington’s goal is to become a zero-waste municipality, an initiative supported by local print companies who are among the largest paper recyclers in the state of Kentucky. An astounding 1,787 tons of office paper was recycled in Lexington this fiscal year. The city was one of the original members of the multicounty Bluegrass Regional Cycling Corp.

“A lot of industries in Kentucky rely upon recycled goods,” said Mark York, spokesman for the city’s division of environmental policy. “Recycling started out being good for the environment, but now it’s really good for the economy.”

Paper products, including 4,838 tons of corrugated cardboard was recycled and sold to companies such as Temple-Inland in Maysville, Indiana where more cardboard and fiberboard was manufactured. Fiberboard is turned into shoe boxes, pizza and cereal boxes. In term, fiberboard is turned into cardboard tubes.

A complete list of how other recyclables, including newspapers, glass, cans and milk cartons, are turned into re-useable products is available by visiting the website.