Millennium Recycling, Inc., a material recycling facility (MRF) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has added paper cups to its recycling list through a partnership with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI).
The company noted that roughly 600,000 tonnes of paper beverage cups are used each year in the US, and far too much of this valuable material ends up in landfills.
“We are committed to giving our customers in Sioux Falls, Yankton, Huron, southwest Minnesota and beyond the opportunity to provide a new life for recycled cups – not just send them to the landfill,” said Shannon Dwire, president of Millennium Recycling.
According to Millenium Recycling, paper cups were once thought to be non-recyclable due to their plastic lining, which is added to insulate and prevent leaks. However, a growing number of mills recognise that these cups are a source of high-quality fibre and are recycling them into new products like tissue, boxes and pulp to make new cups.
Millennium said that it processes around 50,000 tonnes of recyclables, including plastic bottles, metal cans, glass jars, paper and cardboard.
Cups and other paper items will now be sent to mills including WestRock in St. Paul, Minnesota where they will be turned into 100% recycled paperboard for packaging such as cereal and tissue boxes. WestRock is one of over a dozen mills in the US and Canada that have committed to recycling paper cups.
“At FPI, our work is ongoing with communities, recycling facilities and end markets to expand the opportunities to collect, process and recycle foodservice packaging,” said Lynn Dyer, FPI president. “Domestic markets for recovered materials are critical for successful recycling, and we congratulate Millennium Recycling and WestRock for playing a large role in getting more paper cups and paper take-out containers recycled.”
Millennium added that it has asked residents to remove and place all lids, straws and stirrers in the trash and to only recycle clean and empty paper cups. Cup sleeves may be left on the cup. Paper take-out containers can also be recycled if clean and empty.
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