Candy wrappers taking toll on recycling centers

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 11:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Republic Services, a solid waste, and recycling company in Linn County said people throwing candy wrappers in the recycling is a problem following Halloween.

Republic Services Sales Manager Ali Hayford said plastic bags were the largest issue they face. Much like those bags, she said the wrappers can start to jam up the sorting machine.

“The problem with candy wrappers is that they are plastic and cannot be recycled through this system; there are only certain types,” she said.

Halloween was just the start of the increase. Hayford said they see a 25% increase in materials coming through the center between Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holiday.

“People are getting together and making more food together,” she said. “They’re also buying more stuff for parties, and of course, then you look at Christmas wrap and other items that accumulate during the holiday season.”

If enough of these items aren’t caught in the sorting process, what was once a potential pile of recycling could end up here at the landfill.

“Make sure you empty your containers, make sure they’re cleaned out, and make sure they’re dried,” she said. Doing that can ensure it can be recycled.”