Resident recycling program in Jefferson Parish extended to June 30

Orleans residents awaiting decision

Don Ames
May 16, 2019 - 7:11 pm
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Republic Services will  extend the residential recycling program in Jefferson Parish, until June 30 at no additional cost to residents.

Parish President Mike Yenni made the announcement Thursday.

On May 8th, Republic Services said they would no longer take household recycling at their facility in Metairie as of May 17.

The decision was based on the high contamination rate in household recyclables, according to a spokesperson for Phoenix-based Republic Services.

Contamination rate is a measurement of how much non-recyclable material ends up in a recycling bin.

“Contamination is a challenge affecting cities large and small across the country," said a spokesperson for Republic Services. "For decades, China was the world’s largest importer of recyclables, but their new environmental policy has set standards that are difficult to meet, and it has upended the global recycling market. There simply are no longer markets in this region for the excessively contaminated recyclables brought to our facility by the city’s two main haulers, and we have informed them that they may utilize our facility in Baton Rouge should they so choose.”

China, the world's largest importer of recyclables, has set a 0.5 percent contamination level requirement for what they’ll accept, while the US average is 30 percent.

Republic said Jefferson and Orleans Parish officials had assured the company they were exploring all options inorder to find a solution. There has been no word as to whether Orleans Parish will get the same extension as Jefferson.

“The current recycling crisis is not just a local issue but a national issue," said Yenni. "We are committed to coming up with a permanent recycling solution for Jefferson Parish and are currently exploring all options. As we look at waste management as a whole, we have to be better stewards of our planet and be mindful about the waste we are producing. In Jefferson Parish, we want to be part of the solution, not the problem.”

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