New rules for recycling in Eau Claire County

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's so important and awareness is so important," said Margo Miller who lives in Eau Claire.

She is talking about recycling. She keeps a keen eye out for what can be recycled or what ultimately needs to end up in the trash.

"I like the idea very much that it's one through seven now except for the six," she said referring to the type of plastics that can be recycled.

On Monday she was happy to hear that Eau Claire County has signed onto agreements with recycling haulers to not only pick up plastics one and two, but three, four, five and seven.

"You do find there are quite a few of the fives you see very often and so that's nice because yogurt containers a lot of times are five," she said.

By now you are probably trying to make sense of what these numbers mean. They describe the type of plastic used in products you'd find in places like your refrigerator.

"Start off with the mouthwash and some shampoo bottles which are plastics one and two.

Now, you can add things like yogurt containers, which is a number five. Plastic cups can be added, which is a number four. Another type of shampoo bottle is a number seven.

But Styrofoam cups and plates, a number six, as well as motor which is hazardous are still off limits.

So, why the change?

"There are now end markets for those other plastics," said Lance Gurney, the Senior Planner for Eau Claire County.

Another big question in all of this -- will it affect what you pay?

Gurney says plastics from around here are taken to Minneapolis for processing and the county gets some money back. More recycling will help offset transportation costs. However, it does not mean more money for the county.

"We really don't expect an offset to our net cost here," Gurney added.

Bottom line he says: you will not be paying more, just getting to recycle more. Something Margo Miller likes to hear.

"The more we can keep out of the landfills the better," she added.

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