The County’s Recycling and Transfer Station typically accepts plastic for recycling, the idea being that they eventually sell the plastic to vendors which use the bales as an alternative to newly produced plastic in their products.
Pulaski County has experienced difficulty in recent weeks getting their vendors to accept their recycled plastic. Recycling and Transfer Station Superintendent Brad Bonnell says the market has dried up as a result of oil prices.
“With the chain of events happening on the plastic, we had to discontinue for the time being until I can find somebody to pick that up,” says Bonnell. “Otherwise, we’re going to be sitting on bales of plastic, and I’ve got no place to put them.”
Record lows for the price of a barrel of oil has made newly produced plastic less expensive than the recycled products, slowing demand for plastic in Pulaski County.
One vendor has stopped taking Pulaski County’s plastic. Now the search is on to find a vendor that still desires the product, despite lagging oil prices across the globe.
If the county is to continue accepting recycled plastic, locally with the eventual sale to a vendor, the Recycling and Transfer Station may have to find a short-term storage solution.
Bonnell says it’s not as simple as storing the recycled plastic in the elements.
“The problem with it is, the UV Rays will deteriorate the good part of the plastic and then no one wants it,” says Bonnell.
Additional research will take place in the coming weeks until the Recycling and Transfer station can find a vendor to accept its recycled plastic products.
A solution is expected to be found at some point in the future.