Fort Mill SC asks for help with recycle bin contamination

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If folks see someone looking through the bins in front of their homes on trash day in Fort Mill, there’s a reason.

Town public works crews are spot checking recycling carts this week and hanging cards on carts that contain items the town doesn’t accept. The hanging cards are reminders of which items are allowed for recycling.

“Recycling is important to all of us, so it is imperative that we place only recyclable materials in our recycling carts and avoid this material from ending up in a landfill,” said Davy Broom, town manager.

Several loads from recycling collection trucks last week were taken to a landfill. The town contracts with York County’s recycling center. There is a limited list of recyclables that facility will take. It doesn’t, for instance, take plastic bags, glass bottles, plastic containers that aren’t jugs, jars or bottles, or household trash in with the recycling.

Fort Mill isn’t the first community to deal with contamination in recycling. Tega Cay went through several major changes to what items it will collect. The city put out a series of public services messages about what can go in bins there, stating the city could lose some of its recycling services if it couldn’t get non-recyclables out of the truckloads.

Earlier this year Tega Cay and York County partnered on recycling, for the city to use the county facility.

Residents inside Fort Mill town limits have weekly garbage pickup and recycling every other week. Another option for residents is to take recyclables to one of the county convenience stations like the one that just opened on Fort Mill Parkway. There is another in the Baxter area.

Recycling changes in York County and well beyond it have been significant in recent years. The changing global market for recyclables created a situation where in mid-2018 the Herald reported some items taken in Rock Hill and elsewhere for recycling ended up in landfills due not to truckload contamination, but to economics.

The Fort Mill pickup takes cardboard, chipboard, mixed paper, office paper, magazines, plastic jugs and bottles with lids plus steel and aluminum cans, pans and foil. For more information, call 547-7158.

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.

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