Recycling responsibly: Supporting local businesses and the environment

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When you recycle in Sioux Falls, you’re not only helping save space in the landfill, you’re helping some local small businesses survive.

The city just announced that garbage haulers did reach this year’s goal of a 23.4 total recycling rate for the year.

You can help even more by keeping contamination out of the recycling bin. Before she picks up your recyclables, Cindy Neuroth picks out the rejects and there’s a lot of it.

“What I do is I look in the recycling cans and see if there’s any contamination, if there is, we try to pick it out the best you can and then we notify our customers,” D & C Co-Owner Cindy Neuroth said.

D & C Solid Waste Services sends out e-mails and reminders with their bills so customers know what can and cannot be recycled. A lot of it is common sense.

“No plastic bags, no dog poo bags, no zip lock bags. Paper towels are not recyclable, Kleenex’s are not recyclable and Styrofoam, those are the biggest items,” Neuroth said.

Neuroth says recycling contamination costs her small business both time and money.

Millennium Recycling is another small business that takes a hit when garbage lands in the recycling bin.

“We rely on every resident, every person in Sioux Falls to put the right thing in the bin. Millennium is a small private company and in order for us to succeed, we really depend on people putting the right material in the bins so we can process it correctly,” Marissa Begley from Millennium Recycling said.

The wrong items in the recycling bins can also be dangerous.

“The really bad stuff is things that can damage our equipment or hurt our employees. You can think of like large scrap metal or scrap wood that can jam in our equipment. Stringy things are really bad on our equipment and our process, things like garden hoses, metal wire hangers,” Begley said.

Both women say everybody who recycles should just keep it simple.

“What I tell people if you don’t know, throw it in the garbage,” Neuroth said.

Begley says, “if in doubt, keep it out.”

It not only helps these small businesses, it helps the environment.

For a closer look at what can be recycled, head to the Millennium Recycling website.

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