Recycling in a Pandemic

Community Recycling News

Waste Haulers and communities across South Dakota are safely continuing their recycling programs through the pandemic. As an essential service, we have continued to keep the community clean, divert material from the landfill, and provide domestic raw materials for products in high-demand. At Millennium, we are proud to support the commitment of communities like Sioux Falls, Yankton, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, and Brookings as we adjust to our new normal.

Dealing with a long list of hazards faced every day, those in our industry are used to dodging germs for a living. Now with COVID-19 added to the mix, precautions have increased, but the same rules apply with safely wearing gloves, masks, and other PPE to protect ourselves.

With the majority of the workforce and entire families hunkered in homes, now more than ever, it’s important to continue recycling valuable materials and prevent them from filling our landfills. But how can recycling continue safely? Single stream collection has proven safe for waste haulers and recycling employees with no need to touch material in containers or hand-sort recyclable items. Watch our “process tour” video to see how the single stream process works.

The only materials we ever come into contact with are those that should NOT be there. All recyclable items are sorted out automatically. When non-recyclables need to be pulled out (wood, plastic bags, scrap metal, or other non-single stream items), it is done by trained employees with proper protective equipment including gloves and facial masks.

While everyone is focused on cleanliness, we can all do our part to help keep the recycling process safe and moving in our communities by following the Yes List. This prevents anyone from ever touching materials in the waste stream, and lets the equipment do its job by automatically sorting the items it’s meant for.

Please continue recycling these items LOOSE in your bin so workers do not have to rip open any bags by hand:

  • Paper (Office paper, newspaper, brown paper bags, envelopes, magazines, flyers, junk mail, brochures, catalogs, paper cups, etc) – NO Paper towels, tissues or wipes!
  • Cardboard & Cartons (Cardboard boxes, paper egg cartons, clean paper take-out containers, coffee cups, cardboard cup sleeves, cereal boxes, milk and juice cartons, etc)
  • Plastic Bottles, Tubs And Jugs (Soda, water, juice, detergent, shampoo, cleaner spray, lotion bottles, milk jugs, margarine and yogurt tubs) – Please triple rinse and air-dry hazardous chemical/cleaning containers!
  • Metal Cans (Soup, Tuna, Soda, Beer, Vegetable Cans, etc. Aerosol Cans if empty)
  • Glass Jars And Bottles (Jam, pickle, pasta sauce, baby food jars, olive oil, beer, wine, ketchup bottles,etc)

Trash should be securely bagged and placed in the garbage to protect waste haulers from coming in contact with your garbage.

Check out more tips on how to Protect Your Hauler: