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O’Fallon to impose new recycling rules, end curbside pick up for paper products

Due to changes in worldwide recycling trends caused by 2018 policy updates in China, the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials, the city O’Fallon is updating and changing its current single-stream, curbside recycling program.

Beginning Oct. 29, O’Fallon will begin partnering with the city of St. Peters, which has its own recycling center, Recycle City, 131 Ecology Drive.

The cities have entered into an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement that will allow O’Fallon to utilize St. Peter’s recycling facility on a short-term, trial basis. The trial period is expected to occur for two months at an estimated cost of under $10,000; however, the official city resolution covers a projected four-month period with overall expenses not to exceed $25,000.

After the trial period, city staff intend to revisit the council with a longer-term Intergovernmental Agreement to continue the program. The purpose of the trial agreement is solidify details for the longer-term agreement.

After Oct. 29, O’Fallon’s curbside recycling service will pick up only glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, tin cans and clear or colored plastic containers with a recycling symbol on them. Plastic that is labeled with the numbers 4 or 6 and black plastic are not recyclable. All recycled materials should be clean, empty and dry. Recyclable materials also should not be bagged because common plastic trash bags and grocery bags are not recyclable.

Paper and cardboard will be accepted only through the city’s drop-off service at its Environmental Services building, 1550 Progress West Lane. Drop-off hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The city is looking to expand drop-off hours in the future. The city also will announce alternative paper and cardboard drop-off options in 2019.

Acceptable paper products include newspapers, magazines, paper inserts, junk mail, telephone books, computer paper, brown paper grocery bags and flattened cardboard boxes. Small pieces of cardboard and pressed fiber, such as cereal boxes, shoe boxes and tissue boxes also are accepted but must be separated from other paper products.

Beginning Oct. 29, city staff will begin inspecting recycling carts prior to picking them up to prevent contamination. Carts that include paper, cardboard or other unacceptable items will be tagged and not picked up. Customers will need to remove the disallowed items and return the cart to the curb the following week for pick up.

O’Fallon officials say the city also will continue to explore dual-stream options in use by other communities as potential options.

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