As we all know, waste is a problem that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Recycling contamination has become a global concern, especially since we all have the ability to change it. 

“We want to save what is going into the landfill. If it can be recycled into other products that can be used by the consumer. That is something we certainly want to participate in,” said Don Bitz, Bismarck resident.  

Don Bitz has been recycling for several years, and for him, it’s become a way of life. 
But he often sees a lack of effort. 

“People were abusing what was being put into there. I saw that in the one that I was using over at BSC that there was garbage appearing into those bins,” said Bitz.  

Waste Management says items like plastic bags, food, and batteries are driving up the cost of recycling because they create contamination. 

Plastic bags, in particular, are the worst because they wrap around equipment, causing damage and downtime in maintenance. 

You can recycle cardboard, paper, bottles, and cans. 

Many cities across the country are discontinuing recycling programs. North Dakota is not one of them. Waste management wants to keep it that way. 

It’s even ruining our relationship overseas. For years recycling products have been sent to China to be processed

“By May 2018, China had imposed import restriction and they are very high standards of contaminations. What that has resulted in is an oversupply in the domestic market driving prices down for recyclable commodities,” said  Julie Ketchum, Waste Management. 

Officials say recycling has a lot of benefits to the environment and the state. 

“Most of the recycling is packaging. If we don’t recycle that and use it then we have to use more natural resources. We would have to cut down trees and mining natural resources in order to create aluminum cans or packaging made out of paper,” said  Ketchum.

According to Recycle Across America, 

-Five plastic bottles recycled provides enough fiber to create one square foot of carpet or enough fiber-fill to fill one ski jacket.

-It requires 95% less energy and water to recycle a can than it does to create a can from virgin materials.

– Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree.

The recycling drop off site is at the Bismarck Landfill.