Green-minded Midtown residents haven't had a recycling drop-off center for more than a year now. Overland Park environmentalists have a single option for their empty glass bottles after one of their recycling sites shuttered last month. And even curbside collection is facing cut-backs: The budget crisis in Kansas City may reduce weekly blue-bin pick-up to just twice a month.
Yep, it's been a rough year for recycling. But, finally, this week we get a small dose of good news.
Dig those medicine bottles and ketchup containers out of the trash. Deffenbaugh Industries, which contracts with area municipalities to collect and dispense of their reusable materials, announced last week that it's expanding the types of plastic residents can toss in their curbside recycling bins.
Though plenty of people cheat and throw any manner of plastic in their blue bins, a responsible recycler checks the bottom of the bottle. Up until now, the only types of plastic that were accepted were No. 1 and No. 2, like soda and water bottles. As of this week, Deffenbaugh will accept No. 3 through No. 7, like CD cases, plastic straws and laundry detergent caps. Basically, anything plastic is now fodder for the recycling facility.
"In recent months, our customers have increasingly requested broader collection options for plastic containers and we are pleased that we can respond to our customers and guarantee that everything in their bin will be recycled," Deffenbaugh President Mark Rosenau said in a statement last week.
Of course, even this announcement may come with some caveats down the road. Kansas City's recycling contract with Deffenbaugh expires next year. Early reports from city staffers suggest the trash hauler is asking for an extra seven figures to maintain the current recycling services.