TEGA CAY — When the city had to severely cut back on its recycling program last year, many environmentally conscious residents were upset that all but the paper they put curbside would be destined for a landfill.
It’s been less than six months since the city revived a more comprehensive recycling plan, but it appears some residents need to be reminded that it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Last week, a truckload of material picked up during a Tega Cay recycling run was rejected by the York County processing facility because it was too contaminated.
What happened to all that material, which included mostly recyclables?
“The load was sent to the landfill,” Leslie Hatchell, recycling educator/coordinator for the county, said.
That truckload from Tega Cay was about 35 percent contaminated with non-recyclables that included yard waste, Hatchell said. York County has been working to educate all residents on what its program accepts and it is an easy list to remember: Glass, paper and plastic jugs and jars.
Tega Cay was able to offer residents a broader range of recycling pickup after entering into an agreement with the county to accept it. However, contamination, which had been an issue in the past with Tega Cay, not only hampers recycling, but, like last week, can prevent it.
The city also has been working to educate residents on how to recycle properly. A Facebook post from the city after the county rejected that load for recycling took a lighthearted jab at offenders, but also praised the neighborhoods where residents observed the rules.
The good news, Hatchell said, is that level of contaimantion has been rare.
“The load rejected (last) week is the first one in a while,” she said, reminding recyclers that, “If there is too much contamination, it can’t be processed. Tega Cay has been working hard to educate residents on what is acceptable in the carts.”
For more information on York County’s recycling program, including what is accepted and what is not, click here.