Mayor orders jump-start to city’s sputtering recycling program

Mayor Linda Gorton took several steps today to jump-start Lexington’s sputtering recycling program.

“I want to make the changes we need to make and get our recycling program back on track,” Gorton said. “I’m like a lot of citizens … every time I put a piece of paper into the garbage can I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Lexington citizens believe in recycling, and we are going to give them an effective and efficient program our city deserves.”

Gorton said Lexington’s recycling program has needed an overhaul for several years. “Our staff works hard, but they can’t possibly overcome an inadequate facility, equipment that’s outdated and markets that have changed. We need a good plan to move forward,” she said.

After studying several options, and working with a Council committee that is evaluating recycling, Gorton ordered city staffers to hire professional experts to make recommendations. The staff has hired a consultant, Resource Recycling Systems, which will recommend a package of steps Lexington needs to take to overhaul its recycling program, including:

  • Development of a short- and long-range strategic plan for recycling in Lexington;
  • Investigating private operation of the City’s recycling center;
  • Seeking new markets for paper bales;
  • Assessing and securing contracts for crushed glass; and
  • Evaluating the purchase of advanced glass recycling machinery.

The City is investigating the repair or possible replacement of its aluminum sorting machine. And negotiations are ongoing with two recycled paper mills now under construction. The City hopes to be able to send paper materials to them when they open this fall but will be aggressively pursuing all possibilities.

“I share the concerns of our citizens,” Gorton said. “We need to get this right.”

Resource Recycling Systems are recycling experts who have worked with many cities and corporations to improve their recycling operations.

Image of recycling truck and can