LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – For Earth Day, the world raises awareness on ways to protect the environment and keep the globe clean.

In Lexington, Mayor Linda Gorton recently announced the return of curbside paper recycling after a brief hiatus, as one of the many ways the city strives to stay green.

On Saturday, April 23, the city will host another event to help the city stay clean.

At 1631 Old Frankfort Pike, there will be a household hazardous drop-off for residents from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Residents can get rid of paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and other products that can be poured down a drain.

Recycling is a $1.8 billion dollar industry, and the Kentucky Recyclers Association said more than 75% of waste is recyclable, but just 30% of it actually gets recycled.

For Kentucky, it faces its own set of unique challenges.

“We are a little bit landlocked- so like our glass, we actually take that to Atlanta, that’s the closest market that exists right now in our region for glass recycling,” Lauren Monahan with the Lexington Division of Waste Management said.

Monahan said they’re expecting to collect 80 different types of hazardous waste materials Saturday, and a company from Cincinnati, Ohio will have to come to take everything away from the drop-off.

Kentucky also has gotten help from the west coast to improve its recycling habits.

“We got a grant from the Carton Counsel of North America, that helped us be able to start accepting carton,” Monahan said. “So milk cartons, soup carton that you would stick in the refrigerator, we were able to add that material to our list of acceptable recycling.”

Each year, Monahan said Lexington recycles around 36,000 tons of waste at its regional materials recovery facility on Old Frankfort Pike. Out of the total waste stream, the largest chunk of recyclables are cardboard.

However, 1% of that total waste is plastic bottles.

The Kentucky Beverage Association also just announced an industry-led initiative to make bottle caps recyclable.

Sara Massey, with the Kentucky Beverage Association, said there will now be messages on bottle caps informing consumers that the caps are recyclable. This comes as part of the Every Bottle Back campaign.

Kentucky Beverage Association works with partners to increase recycling opportunities.

“So that’s using a plastic called, ‘PET’ because we want to make sure we can reuse those plastics and make more bottles out of them,” Massey said.

Massey reports that Lexington recently collected over 100,000 pounds of waste, and after sorting through it, found 20% could have been recycled. She said it’s pointing to a larger goal.

“Making sure people have access to recycling and they are able to recycle their beverages once they’re finished with it.”


To learn more about the household, hazardous waste drop-off, click here.