Lexington awarded nearly $2 million to expand recycling program

Lexington awarded nearly $2 million to expand recycling program
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 12:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington has been awarded a $1.8 million Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to expand its recycling program, growing the list of acceptable plastics to include yogurt containers, butter tubs and other similar plastics.

“With the new equipment, we will be able to recycle polypropylene, the second most widely produced commodity plastic,” said Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton. “There are solid resale markets for these materials. This is really good news in a city like ours that believes in the importance of recycling.”

The upgrades are not expected to be complete until sometime in 2026, so for now, residents should continue to place yogurt containers, etc., in the trash.

The grant will also fund equipment to better sort plastic bottles, jugs and jars – items the center already accepts.

Officials say the improvement will also lead to a higher market rate when the bales of plastic are sold. In other words, the city will be paid better for the material it already collects.

“The federal funding allows us to purchase additional equipment, including a duel eject optical sorter, a robotic arm, conveyors, and a compressor,” Waste Management Director Tracey Thurman said. “Overall, the grant funding is a great boost to recycling in Central Kentucky.”

The grant is part of $2.4 million in EPA awards to expand recycling infrastructure and waste management systems across Kentucky.

Lexington’s recycling center serves most of Central Kentucky.