Tri-County Recycling Center to expand

The Tri-County Recycling Facility will add $1.8 million of equipment to accept more plastics.
The Tri-County Recycling Facility will add $1.8 million of equipment to accept more plastics.

APPLETON - You may soon be able to put more items in the recycling bin, rather than the trash can.

The Outagamie Tri-County Recycling Center is expanding and officials say it could save money in Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago counties.

Business is good for the Tri-County Recycling Center.

"We processed over 82,000 ton of single stream recyclables in 2013," said Tri-County Recycling Center's Solid Waste Director Brian Van Straten.

More recycling means less waste in the landfill. And starting this fall the recycling center is expanding. Van Straten says a $1.8 million upgrade will add new equipment and allow more items to be recycled.

"Ice cream containers, yogurt containers, juice cartons and aseptic containers because there are markets now readily available for those products," said Van Straten.

Putting those items in the recycling rather than the garbage can will hopefully save money in more ways than one.

"We're confident that if not this year, that in years to come we'll be able to find new buyers and we're going to find new ways that we can recycle these materials," said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

Van Straten says about five percent of the recycled materials that comes to the facility each year are actually not recyclable. And until the upgrades are made, those plastics are sorted out and sent to the landfill.

"Technology is moving along now where they can actually take these products and reintroduce them into recyclables they are already recycling to make new products out of them,” said Van Straten.

Saving money on landfill fees and putting used plastics back to good use.

The three counties will share the cost of the upgrade.