Plaquemines Parish Government cancels recycling, after the abrupt closure of Republic Services.
Parish officials announced that Republic Services will suspend their recycling program.
Republic Services announced on July 31 that they will no longer take recyclables at their facility in Metairie as effective August 12, 2019. This closure has effected Plaquemines, Jefferson, and Orleans Parishes.
A spokesperson for Phoenix-based Republic Services said their decision is based on the high contamination rate in household recyclables.
Contamination rate is a measurement of how much non-recyclable material ends up in your recycling bin.
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.
“Contamination is a challenge affecting cities large and small across the country. 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,” a spokesperson for Republic Services said. “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.”
Parish officials have assured residents they’re exploring all options looking for a solution. Both Jefferson and Orleans Parish has also been affected by the Republic Solution Closure.
“We are committed to coming up with a permanent recycling solution for Plaquemines Parish and are currently exploring all options,” Lepine said. “We have to be better stewards of our parish, and Keep Plaquemines Parish beautiful, we want to be part of the solution, not the problem.”