From our media release on the subject
Emmet County Recycling is suspending collection of their “Mixed Containers” stream which includes bottles, jugs, cans, cartons, cups, tubs, trays and the like. The move is being made amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19 because the layout of the conveyor belt where these materials are sorted does not allow for six feet of social distancing. Collection of the “Papers, Boxes and Bags” stream will continue.
Recyclables must be sorted to go to the different factories that use them as feedstock in making new products, a process largely accomplished by hand at this time. Papers, boxes and bags are not affected because they are processed on a separate, more spacious conveyor line.
This suspension of mixed containers collection applies to both curbside collection and the Emmet County system’s 13 drop-off sites, as well as drop-off sites in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties. Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties send material to the Emmet County processing facility.
Customers are asked to rinse and hold their mixed containers for future recycling collection as much as possible, “We do want to recycle this material, but need to slow down collection and processing until social distancing recommendations are lifted,” said Andi Shepherd, Director of the Emmet County Department of Public Works. “We only have so much space to store materials on site and without the ability to sort containers and keep them flowing out to the factories, our facility will fill up rapidly. That’s why we’re asking you to hold onto it.”
Updates on the status of Emmet County’s recycling and waste management services are being posted on their website: EmmetRecycling.org and updated daily or more. The DPW’s office staff will be working from home, so contact via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Facebook (@EmmetCountyRecycling) is recommended for quickest response.