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Flathead Co. project brings some positive changes to recycling centers

Flathead Recycling
Posted at 3:52 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 18:46:49-04

COLUMBIA FALLS — Earth Day may just be once a year, but for many organizations, it's a chance to change things for the years to come.

With this in mind, The Waste Not Project held a press conference Wednesday in Columbia Falls to highlight changes at Flathead recycling firms.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are the three words-- and ways -- for people to go green.

The Waste Not Project in collaboration with Flathead Solid Waste District and Citizens for a Better Flathead wants going green to become easier.

“Normally in the past, we've always put these two together, but what we're asking the public to do now is to separate these out," said WasteNot project director Mayre Flowers.

Flowers says making sure you separate the thick corrugated cardboard from mixed paper such as cereal boxes and newspapers will help the recycling center workers from doing it themselves, and will also bring in more money to the recycling centers.

When shipped together, not all recycled items are properly reused but if Flathead residents do it themselves, project leaders believe recycling will become more productive, as well as earn $1`5 more for corrugated cardboard.

“So, if the public can work with us in this change, this will help make recycling more viable here in the Flathead,” said Flowers.

To clarify between the mixed paper and corrugated cardboard Flowers says just look at the inside of the boxes, "if it has this wavy inside, it's corrugated and it can go in with the corrugated cardboard."

Educating yourself on recycling is very important and the Waste Not Project is making it even easier, by attaching these signs to wrongly recycled items.

“Basically showing people hey like this doesn't go there,” program coordinator Jared Sousa told MTN News.

County waste workers have found a variety of items that can't be recycled at certain county centers, such as batteries, cans of paint, car parts and even pet waste.

It's because of those amounts that the county sees potential for growth at the recycling centers if people follow the changes.

"We want to make sure that these products that get collected actually get to a factory or firm that will turn them into new products,” said Flowers.

Flowers says the new signs and rules are to help the county financially and ensure the items can be recycled properly.

The Waste Not Project is also holding other events this week to promote Earth Day, and you can find those events on their website here.