Under the Microscope: Single-Stream Recycling in Missouri

Mar 16, 2015

At Resource Management’s MRF, workers pull plastic bags, other trash and large pieces of cardboard off the conveyor belts before the mixed recyclables enter the sorting machines.
Credit Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

  Throughout 2015, the City of Columbia has made strident efforts to overhaul its trash services. While most of the focus has been put on the potential “what if’s” of switching from the city’s current curbside pick-up system to an automated roll-cart service, there has also been discussion about how to raise the city’s diversion rate, or the amount of trash that the city throws away that doesn’t end up in landfills. However, some citizens are still asking for more  — to move to a more seamless single-stream recycling system like they have in Saint Louis.

But what could that entail for Columbia and its waste services? For an idea, this week we’ll hear about what happens to trash in the system in St. Louis. Véronique LaCapra reports.