Weather Related Delays and Closings

Des Moines Recycling Facility Forced to Send Materials to Landfill

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The state's largest recycling facility is struggling to find buyers for it's recycled papers forcing it to dump its recycled goods into the landfill.

"It was the most distasteful thing we had to do here. We fought it as long as we could," says Mid - America President, Mick Barry.

It happened earlier this year because China cut off all recycled commodities from the US, Europe and Australia. The country says the products are too contaminated with items that cannot be recycled. The Mid - America Recycling facility in Des Moines receives about 22 truck loads of recycled materials everyday from across Central Iowa. Barry says on average, 16 - percent of each truck load is contaminated with non - recyclables. Barry warns it's better from homeowners to just throw away waste in the trash if they are not sure if it can be recycled. He says it's important for people to know they can and cannot recycle.

"If you make a mistake and throw something away that could have been recycled, it's less damaging then if you brought it something that can't be recycled," he says.

The facility has since acquired a few new buyers but is still losing money. It's having a trickle down effect on homeowners who have their recycling picked up by the Metro Waste Authority of the City of Des Moines. Des Moines Public Works is proposing a 14 - cent per month increase for waste fees to help cover the loss for the upcoming fiscal year.