Pacific Steel stops accepting plastic recycling in Missoula in M - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Pacific Steel stops accepting plastic recycling in Missoula in May

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MISSOULA- Pacific Steel and Recycling announced it will no longer accept plastic, leaving Missoula residents with few options for recycling.

Pacific Steel says low market value, increasing freight costs and contamination are some of the reasons the program is ending on May 7.

Pacific assistant manager Greg Owen says that for the last few decades, recyclables have been sent to China. Now, China is accepting less recycling, leading to low value and increasing costs for shipping.

"It's just been very hard for other markets to ship it out," Owens says. "The main concern here is we have to be able to get rid of it. We are just a secondary site. It has to go to other mills to get processed and that's where the problem comes."

Contamination is also a problem in loads of recycling.

One of the main problems Pacific has is with people who don't follow recycling directions and put things like food trays and bottle caps in the bins, which causes extra costs in time and money for sorting.

"The whole process of holding it here, dumping it, going through it, bailing it, loading trucks, shipping it out - all of that costs us probably, in the last 6-8 months, $30,000," Owen says.

People who use Pacific's recycling program say the change is an inconvenience.

"I am really surprised," says Caryn Miske, who regularly drops off plastic at Pacific. "I think it has been really successful. I come a lot of times on the weekend and the bins are just overflowing with material."

Jason Bailey, who was also dropping off items, says, "In a way I am not surprised. If it's too much of a hassle for them, if it's too expensive for them, they wouldn't do it."

Republic Services and Garden City Recycling are among the remaining recycling services in Missoula.

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