News Flash

City of Idaho Falls News

Posted on: September 6, 2019

City’s Recycling Service Impacted by National Markets

Hands Holding Earth Image

Due to the current conditions in national and even global recycling markets, municipalities all over the United States are finding it more difficult to locate vendors for paper and plastic recyclables; Idaho Falls is no different. As of today, the city is regrettably removing all paper and plastic recycling containers. 

The recycling facility currently used by Idaho Falls informed the city late yesterday that they will no longer be able to accept paper or plastics.  The city will continue to accept glass, cardboard, tin and aluminum at all drop-off locations.

In Idaho, recycling is largely an optional service provided by municipalities or by private entities. Idaho Falls offers a free service by providing recycling containers at thirteen drop-off locations across the city. Residents can also elect to pay private companies for curb-side recycling pick-up.  

Sanitation Superintendent, Jordan Rechenmacher states, “We are always looking for ways that we can improve service to our customers. As you can imagine, it was disheartening to learn that we have to discontinue a service that the public supports and that benefits our environment. Right now, our hands are tied, but we will of course continue to look for other options.”

Historically, recycling in Idaho has been limited by the state’s geographic isolation from processing facilities and the fact that recycled materials have to be shipped long distances – increasing costs.  Complicating the public’s desire to recycle and reduce the carbon footprint is the fact that China put a screeching halt on receiving plastic and paper imports from the United States.

According to a March 13, 2019 NPR article, “For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products. But last year the Chinese government dropped a bombshell on the world recycling business: It cut back almost all imports of trash.”

The city’s Sanitation Division anticipates that it will haul over 1,000 tons of recyclable materials in 2019 that otherwise would have ended up in the Bonneville County landfill.  

Please take note of these changes to the city’s allowable recyclables received at all drop-off locations. Should you have any questions please contact the Sanitation Division at (208) 612-8491.

Additional Information: 

Recycling in Idaho Falls

Recycling in Idaho 

Media Contact: Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon, (208) 612-8122 or khammon@idahofallsidaho.gov

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