PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. — If people in Plaquemines Parish want to drop off their recycling, they'll have to drive all the way to Baton Rouge to do it.
As of Aug. 12, the parish's drop-off sites were shut down due to contaminated recyclables.
Fresh out of recycling options, Plaquemines Parish employees are facing backlash when people find empty lots in the place of the Parish's old recycling drop-off bins.
"We did not understand the magnitude of how important it is, the voice of the people spoke," said Jade Duplessis, spokesperson for Plaquemines Parish.
The collection sites were scrapped after recycling company Republic Services stopped taking residential recycling. The reason is high levels of contamination in the drop-off zones. Now the parish is scrambling to find someone else to pick up recycling.
"A permanent solution we're working on is with our actual waste contractor to work logistics so they can not just handle waste, but also recycling," Duplessis said.
While they search for a new contractor, they are also trying to teach homeowners what can and cannot be recycled.
Some of the rules you probably already know like newspapers, office paper, magazines and junk mail are acceptable. However, anything that has touched food like pizza boxes are not allowed. Styrofoam, diapers, wet or dirty coffee cups are not acceptable.
You can recycle plastic bottles, but there is a catch, you have to take off the labels and the caps. The plastic ring around the neck of the bottle can be left on. Aluminum cans are okay, but you have to wash them out first.
Republic Services says one dirty bottle can contaminate and entire truck of properly recycled items.