Recycling center updates list of acceptable items

The Bell County Solid Waste and Recycling Center has updated the materials which can be accepted for recycling.

According to Bell County Solid Waste and Recycling Center secretary Jackie Hoskins, the reason for the change is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because of COVID, we’re not getting inmates, so therefore we don’t have the manpower to sort,” Hoskins said. “There’s a lot of misinformation out in the community. We can’t process everything that’s got a recycle symbol on it.”

Hoskins said there is a lot of material that may be recyclable, but the center will not accept at this time.

Items not being accepted include plastic bags, plastic packaging material such as bubble wrap, wood, clothing, plastic bins or totes, clothes racks and Styrofoam.

A post won the Bell County Solid Waste and Recycling Center’s Facebook page shows more information on which items are being accepted. The post states that beginning on Monday, Feb.1, the facility will accept cardboard and newsprint (including magazines and sales papers). All white paper including shredded paper must be bagged separately from other recyclable material. Also acceptable are #1 and #2 plastics such as water and soft drink bottles, milk, and detergent jugs.

Aluminum cans, tin cans and glass items must be rinsed, and the lids removed. These items will be accepted at the facility only.

Hoskins mentioned that while cardboard is being accepted, boxes should be broken down.

“We’re pulling trailers that are virtually empty, we’re just hauling air because the boxes aren’t broken down,” Hoskins explained. “Another issue is white paper; people have shredders, and they shred everything at home. They’ll put that in a bag with a bunch of cans and bottles. When we open that bag to sort it, that shredded paper just ends up in the floor and goes to the garbage. If they put it in a separate grocery bag, then it could get processed like it needs to rather than just ending up in the garbage.”

Non-recyclable trash should not be put in recycle bins.

Anybody with questions concerning which items are being accepted for recycling at this time may call 606-337-7035 for more information.