City of Roswell making changes to recycling policy

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OSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Roswell has had to make the tough choice of putting half of all of the recycling they pick up straight into the landfill. New regulations and changing prices in China are the reason why. “What we’ve had to is, basically acknowledge the realities of the market,” said Dennis Kintigh, Mayor of Roswell.

Roswell has made changes to their recycling policy because it just costs too much to collect, sort, and ship all of the materials.

“One of the challenges for us, is we’re so far from anyone else. If we collect materials for recycling it doesn’t stay in Roswell. It has to be shipped to another location, and you don’t ship stuff for free,” said Kintigh.

The city will now only accept tin and aluminum cans as well as cardboard. They will be dumping all paper and plastic into the landfill because most loads are contaminated. Chinese Customs authorities are enforcing the regulations on all recycled plastics coming into the country. China and Hong Kong import 72% of all plastic waste. Now that they are limiting the numbers, it is not worth Roswell to recycle.

“Unfortunately, in the past, we’ve had people throwing trash into the recycling bins which just basically contaminates the whole batch and is not usable for anything at all and it ends up in the landfill,” said Kintigh.

KRQE News 13 spoke with many residents who did not want to go on camera but were upset to see the hard work by residents by being dumped into the landfill. The city says they are working on another option that would mean bringing in a third-party company that would handle the recycling.

“We’ve been negotiating with a vendor to do the recycling for us, those details are still being worked out. It has to be something that will work for the vendor as well as the city and for the whole community,” said Kintigh.

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