PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -- The recycling industry is dying in many parts of the country.

Cities are shutting down their recycling programs, burning their recycled goods or just sending it all to the dump.

Right now, that’s not the case in the Kansas City area. You can trust the goods you put in your bins and collection sites will get recycled.

However, that’s not the case is many places across the country because China is no longer taking our used paper and plastic.

Last year, the Chinese government banned imports of recycled goods, mostly because all the goods they took in from all over the world were contaminated and mixed with a lot of trash. It started to pollute the country, so the government said no more.

That left the rest of the world scrambling to figure out who to sell used paper and plastic to.

In Kansas City, recycled goods are sold to domestic recycling companies, but the prices aren’t what they used to be. And those companies will only take the cleanest bales of goods, so that means recycling collection companies, like WCA, must work harder to make sure the goods they sell are clean.

And, they could use your help with that.

“If you’re standing there in front of your recycling retainer and thinking should I throw this in the trash or put it in the recycling container? Just throw it out,” said Tom Coffman with WCA Municipal. “When in doubt just throw it out.”

So how can you help?

  • If you’ve got packaging material from deliveries, fold up the cardboard and throw away the packing plastic.
  • Don’t put plastic bags in the container.
  • And, anything with food grease on it just toss in the trash.

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