Springfield sees more recycling as outlying cities close recycling centers

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SPRINGFIELD, (Mo.) KY3 - People living in two communities on opposite sides of Springfield faced a new decision this year. They can either pay more for recycling or haul it off themselves. It's a trend that's already hit Republic.

Republic's Mike Landis said the city has not had its own recycling center for more than a year.

"Since then we have not have a recycling program here in Republic," he said.

Landis said the third-party recycling service in town wanted to charge the city for recyclables.

"We simply did not have that kind of money whatsoever," he said.

Just this year, other cities such as Rogersville and Billings have gotten rid of recycling centers. Ashley Krug, the Recycling Market Development Coordinator for the City of Springfield, said the three recycling centers in Springfield have seen an uptick in traffic due to those closures.

Krug said recycling centers often close because of rising recycling prices, which often happen due to contamination. For instance, when people throw trash into recycling bins.

"When we're seeing that heavy amount of contamination, it makes it that much more expensive for a processor to take that in and then send it to a likely market," she said.

Now, people living in Republic can choose to either pay their trash company more for recycling services or drive to Springfield. Meaning, recycling gets even more expensive than it already is and cities like Republic are left with few options but important choices to make.

"Lots of times, we think about throwing things away, we need to realize there is no 'away.' It's going somewhere and it's going to a landfill," Krug said.

Landis said, in April, Republic voters chose not to raise a tax that would have paid to bring the recycling center back. He said the city is looking for other ways to fund it.