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Federal grant will help Lexington expand recycling to include more plastics

file photo-Lexington Recycling Center
Stu Johnson
file photo-Lexington Recycling Center

The City of Lexington is looking to further expand its recycling program. A federal grant is helping to pave the way for these additions.

The $1.8 million dollar grant from the EPA will help pay for new equipment at the recycling center. It will mean broadening the list of acceptable plastics to include yogurt containers, butter tubs, and other similar plastics. Environmental Initiatives Specialist Lauren Monahan said the upgrades are not expected to be completed until sometime in 2026.

 “So for the time being we’re asking residents to continue to reuse those materials that we cannot take, as of yet…so plastic tubs,” said Monahan.

The grant will also fund equipment to better sort plastic bottles, jugs, and jars, items the center already accepts. Monahan said the recycling center works with 15 partner communities and all will benefit from the changes.

Monahan said officials are also looking into the feasibility of accepting Styrofoam materials.

“Whether it be accepting it at our recycling facility as a mixed item or we may be required to kind of have drop off sites where it’s just more material in that bin,” said Monahan.

While it’s expected to be a couple more years before the additional plastic items will be accepted, Monahan noted it’s likely to be after that before Styrofoam materials like food take-out containers could be accepted.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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