Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

With the closure of Nestle Purina PetCare, city amends paper recycling process

 A mixed paper recycling bin at a City of Springfield recycling location
Michele Skalicky
A mixed paper recycling bin at a City of Springfield recycling location

The plant is scheduled to be completely closed by June.

A cat litter plant located in the Partnership Industrial Center in Springfield has ceased operations. Forty people are impacted by the closure of the Nestle Purina PetCare facility, although the company said it will offer affected employees the chance to work at other Purina factories.

The closure also means the City of Springfield has had to change where it sends the paper residents drop off at Springfield recycling facilities.

Erick Roberts, superintendent of solid waste for the City of Springfield, said Nestle Purina collected all of the paper recycled in Springfield to make its cat litter. The company also collected paper from bins placed in area communities, Roberts said.

“A huge portion of southwest Missouri’s recycled paper was funneled through that facility for the last couple of decades,” Roberts said.

Nestle Purina used the city’s recycled paper to make two brand of cat litter, "Yesterday’s News" and "SecondNature." Those brands are being discontinued.

“Demand for these alternative paper litter brands has diminished over the past few years,” the company said in a news release. “At the same time, the supply of paper used to make these products has declined as the world has become more digital.”

The way the public recycles their paper will not change, Roberts said

The city already has a contract with Greenway Recycling to collect various products, he said. And city leaders have been talking with the company about collecting paper—a product that was already in the contract.

“It may not happen right here, you know, in the community like it did in our partnership with Nestle,” said Roberts. “But we are doing everything we can to ensure that that paper will continue to be recycled.”

He said the city will continue to collect mixed paper for now. The public might see some minor changes down the road, according to Roberts.