While several counties in the Tri-Cities are scaling back their recycling services, one county is working on a solution.
Since January, several counties are scaling back or phasing the service out entirely. In February, Washington County, VA, and Bristol, VA announced there were no longer accepting paper and plastic products.
Sullivan County announced they will no longer accept plastic at their recycling center this month.
As of this week, the Hoover Site in Unicoi County started accepting plastic, cardboard and mixed paper again.
Unicoi County Commissioner James Harris said the site was closed for a week and a half because the company they use to send recycling materials to closed.
“But now we actually entered into an agreement with Carter County, and they are going to accept our recycled plastics and mixed papers, and cardboard as long as we keep it clean,“ Harris said.
If those guidelines are not followed, Harris said the county will lose their deal with Carter County. If that happens, he said all the recycling material will go to the landfill.
It’s a challenge at the recycling site, even with the labels for each recycling bin.
Harris said people are still putting recycling materials in the wrong bins.
“If we get those loads rejected then it doubles our costs, and then we won’t have a place to take them and then everything would end up in the landfill, and we don’t want to do that, that hurts the environment,“ Harris said.
If those recycling loads are rejected, Harris said it will cost the county money.
“If it made it to Carter County and got rejected, the time you pay the extra fees and the loads, I would say an additional $300,“ Harris said.