City of Bluefield suspends recycling program

BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – After completing a yearlong in-depth review, the City of Bluefield is suspending its recycling program until new technology or global markets change.

Like cities around the country, the City of Bluefield Recycling program is no longer cost-effective without a market for processed plastics and paper to go.

According to data from the EPA, the U.S. solved part of the problem by selling hundreds of thousands of tons of used plastics to China. Then, in 2018, the Chinese government implemented its “National Sword” policy, forbidding the import of 24 types of waste in a campaign against foreign trash. The U.S. suddenly had lost the biggest market for its used plastics, and cities across the U.S. began burning recyclables or sending them to landfills.  According to the EPA, less than 10 percent of the plastic produced in the past four decades has been recycled; the rest has wound up in landfills or been incinerated.

Closer to home, the City of Bluefield last year spent over $63,000 on its curbside recycling program only to recoup $3,934 in recycling material sales (aluminum and cardboard).

If residents would like to continue recycling, here are locations still in operation:

Mercer County Recycling: 304.425.3366

749 Frontage Road, Princeton WV (Mercer County Landfill location)

Monday – Friday 7 AM – 5 PM

Saturday – 8 AM – 1 PM

Open to all Mercer County residents.

Residents must take their recyclables to the center and will be able to sort them into bins at the Recycling Center.


Tazewell County Recycling:   276.988.4003

2475 Lynn Hollow Road, N. Tazewell VA

Monday – Saturday

Cardboard ONLY

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