Millennium Recycling, a single-stream recycling facility based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is expanding the amount of recycled materials it can provide to end-markets: the company has added paper cups to its list of materials it accepts for recycling.
While roughly 600,000 tons of paper beverage cups are used each year in the US, much of it ends up in landfills, in part because cups have long been considered non-recyclable due to their plastic lining, the company says. However, more recycling facilities are recognizing that cups can be a viable source of recycled material. Via a partnership with Foodservice Packaging Institute – which works with communities, recycling facilities and end-markets to expand recovery options for recycleable materials – Millennium Recycling will now be accepting paper cups.
Each year, Millennium Recycling processes about 50,000 tons of recyclables, such as plastic bottles, metal cans, glass jars, paper and cardboard. Cups will be sent with other paper items to mills including WestRock in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they will be turned into 100% recycled paperboard for packaging such as cereal and tissue boxes.
WestRock is one of over a dozen mills in the US and Canada that have committed to recycling paper cups.