Recycling changes costing garbage collectors in Sioux Falls area

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 5:43 PM CST
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Each day when a garbage collector opens a lid they're seeing the evidence. Recyclers are confused.

The plastic store bags are definitely part of the ban, but it also includes any type of plastic films, such as container bags, similar to what your softener salt or pet food comes in. Plastic wrapping around new products or even shrinkwraps are all included in the ban. Tom Wilford with Marv's Sanitary Service explains how plastic films are being assessed and charged more.

"Our loads are dumped at Millennium recycling. A judgment is made as to the amount of plastic film or plastic bags in that load. If it's judged to be a disproportionally large amount, that entire load is charged to us at a much higher rate than if it were, what's called clean recycling," said Wilford.

The ban was enacted by Millennium recycling because there is no market to sell the items. It's supported by the Sioux Falls regional landfill, which serves five counties.

Wilford says their company is being charged up to $300 more per month. "We call them fines to get the public's attention but the upgrade in price happened I believe it was October first," said Wilford.

The answer is not giving up and throwing recyclables in the garbage either. That also costs money.

"Garbage haulers need people to recycle as much as possible because if our recycle weight to garbage weight ratio is not high enough, then we get fined by the landfill," said Wilford.

These fees are being assessed to all of the garbage companies, which typically means you could be seeing a higher bill as well.