Millennium started single stream recycling in 2007, allowing all materials to be placed into one, single, mixed bin. Prior to single stream, items had to be sorted into different categories before they were collected. Over the years, we have added various types of items to the accepted list, like cartons and paper cups, but how do we choose what we can (and cannot) accept in the bin?
- Market Demand: The need of material from processors like paper mills or plastic recyclers ultimately dictates what we can accept. If there is not enough demand for a certain material (plastic bags), if we cannot collect enough of it (odd types of items), or if it’s not able to be handled by our end-processors (to-go plastics), we cannot accept it as we would have nowhere to send it for recycling.
- Location and Logistics: We must be able to collect enough of the material, in consistent quantities, with a reliable processor in place located within a reasonable distance from our facility to make the collection, sorting and transportation of an item make sense — over 90% of the material we sort ends up being used right here in the Midwest.
- Customer Demand: The demand from communities we serve and their desire to educate, collect, and pay for the service plays a large role in what we can accept. Some communities choose to not collect certain items that we accept due to a low material value or service cost (glass, for example).
- Ability to Sort: Our single stream equipment sorts out all of the materials we accept in the bin. We do not include anything that can jam or damage our equipment, or anything that processors will not accept or consider contamination.
Any other questions? Please ask! We are here to help with any and all recycling questions you have!