Contamination could lead to recyclables ending up in landfill

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Right now there’s a month’s worth of recyclables sitting at the Bees Ferry landfill.

Charleston County officials say it is waiting to be processed, but some of what you’re recycling may end up there permanently.

That’s because Charleston County Environmental Management recently transitioned from its partnership with the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, and were waiting to begin processing its recyclables at their Romney Street Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

There’s almost 3,000 tons of material at the landfill now which could end up in there permanently if it gets wet or contaminated.

Officials say they’re taking measures like covering the recyclables with a tarp to make sure that doesn’t happen. But they’re asking people to do their part and make sure they are only putting recyclables in their blue carts.

“We really want our residents to kind of pay attention to how to recycle correctly and make sure they’re only putting material that’s accepted in our program into their recycling carts," said Charleston County Recycling Program Manager Christina Moskos.

Items like plastic bags, Styrofoam, and food waste could contaminate the recycling, meaning it could end up in the landfill. Moskos said they find a number of things that goes through their facility that isn’t approved like plastic bags and soft plastic that gets tangled up in their machines.

She said that only contributes to a problem that is changing the recycling market.

“China, they’ve tightened up regulations as far as the cleanliness of materials that we’re able to sell them for re-manufacturing. So it’s important for residents not only to recycle but to recycle right," Moskos said.

You can click here for more information from the county as to how to recycle properly.

The county have resumed processing recyclables at the MRF, and curbside on all Charleston County routes will continue as usual.

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