TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — More and more people are recycling in Tippecanoe County but when it comes to "going green" quantity isn't better than quality.
The people who aren't recycling the right way are ruining it for those who are.
It's actually costing local government money.
"Green isn't just something you do for your environment," said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. "Green is something you make off people who are recycling."
It's all about money and local governments have been profiting off your recyclables until recently. China and Thailand have banned imported recyclables.
"Unfortunately, that's where most of our material went," said Best Way Disposal's Terry Guerin.
So now, the market is starting to bottom out, which creates challenges for cities like West Lafayette.
"We can't get rid of the volume of recyclables that are coming in and so it is starting to create a financial burden on local government," said Dennis. "So, we have to look at a smarter way to recycle."
The Go Greener Commission is working on it. It is looking for ways to better educate the public about the proper ways to recycle.
Contamination is a huge problem and so is illegal dumping.
"They're finding all kinds of things in the roll offs that just don't belong there," said Dennis.
Guerin said some areas have already pulled out of recycling altogether but if you don't want that to be your city, you have to keep it clean.
"The primary message is don't contaminate what you are throwing away," Guerin.
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