Policy changes at Olmsted County Recycling Center

Those who self-haul recycling to The Olmsted County Recycling Center are seeing changes when it comes to cardboard. 

The recycling center recently made the decision to only accept corrugated cardboard.

 The new restrictions are only for The Olmsted County Recycling Center and not for other surrounding recycling centers. 

"If they can’t break them down to fit it in that curb side recycling container, we do serve as a great option for people who do what to self-haul their own corrugated cardboard," said Anthony Wittmer with the Olmsted County Environmental Resources Department.

This means the shipping boxes you get from Amazon are allowed, where as the pop and cereal boxes you buy, are not.

"It really gets down to the quality of the fibers that comprise the box. Those little plant fibers," said Wittmer.

The Olmsted County Recycling Center previously accepted all types of cardboard.

"They’re just stronger in the corrugated cardboard than they are in the freezer and the pop boxes," said Wittmer. "Our end market really wants that corrugated cardboard, so we do our best to insure a clean, quality product going up to that mill to be recycled."

A notable difference between the box types is the wavy-like center in the corrugated cardboard.

For some residents, the change may be a bit of an issue, but others we spoke to didn’t seem to mind.

"We just break it down, and it doesn’t cost anything to get rid of [the corrugated cardboard]," said resident David Meek. "It’s cheaper than trying to fill a dumpster and have whoever come and pick it up. So, I just take the extra time it takes to break down the boxes and discard it that way. It’s handy. It’s convent."

Olmsted County Recycling Center wants to be clear that this new policy is only for residents who self-haul their garbage and recyclable to the facility.

"For residents who have a curbside recycling collection, continue to throw those food boxes, in addition to corrugated cardboard in that container," said Wittmer. "It’s just for this specific site, the Olmsted County Recycling Center Plus, that we want to see the corrugated cardboard only."

Wittmer says that each recycling facility has different requirements and it’s best to check online if you have any questions regarding what items may or not be accepted.

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