Recycling changes coming to Flathead County - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Recycling changes coming to Flathead County

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KALISPELL - Recycling changes are coming as Flathead County faces growing piles of recyclables and no place to put them.

Changes are coming in the wake of China's January 1 ban on some imports of trash. Flathead County Public Works Director Dave Prunty says that beginning on Feb. 15, all plastic and tin cans must be thrown in the garbage, but aluminum cans, paper products and cardboard can still be recycled.

"Starting February 15th we are not going to take plastics or tin cans in our recycling program, so please throw all that in the garbage," he said. "Aluminum cans, all paper products, newspapers, magazines, junk mail and cardboard is good. So we still have a program. Don't give up completely."

He says part of the problem with the program is that plastics are not being sorted and often co-mingled with other recyclables. He says the decision was finalized by the Solid Waste Board last week.

Valley Recycling, a company that works with the county to provide the recycling bins, has scrambled to deal with a buildup of plastic and paper garbage since the ban went into effect. They are holding onto the product for now, but it could end up in the landfill.

Prunty says he doesn't know when or if the county will accept plastic and tin again.

"We're hopeful that something will change and we'll be able to start the program again for the plastics and the steel, but we don't know if that will be six months or six years. We don't know," said Prunty.

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