Just one word. Plastics. Will you think about it?

In January, Rice County Solid Waste will start accepting many more types of household plastics via the single-sort curbside recycling bins. See their PDF flyer for details. Items include:

Rice County plastics recyclingAll soft drink/water bottles (leave the bottle caps ON the bottles), beverage and mouthwash bottles, and rinsed plastic food jars/containers

Plastic bottles, plastic milk and water jugs, detergents, cleaners, shampoo bottles

Household cleaning product bottles (must be empty), cooking oil bottles, salad dressing bottles, and some shampoo bottles. (No PVC piping allowed at all!)

Plastic bags (all of the bags must be put inside one of the bags),

Small Buckets (8” diameter max.), soap dispenser bottles, food storage containers, squeezable bottles (NO Food Residue Allowed)

Yogurt containers, margarine tubs, some food containers, ketchup bottles (rinsed clean)

Small plastic flower pots (8” max. size and must be clean), plastic cups, and some medicine bottles

Some miscellaneous small plastic containers/packaging

 

8 thoughts on “Just one word. Plastics. Will you think about it?”

    1. Leota — ours were picked up yesterday. And we had all the bags in a VERY large bag, so it couldn’t have been missed by the driver.

  1. We are tricked into thinking all that packaging is no problem because it can be “recycled”. For example, just think about all those little yogurt containers. Do we really know what happens to all that stuff when it gets plopped into the big trucks on our street?

    And then there’s the question of the resources consumed in creating the packaging. Aren’t plastics petroleum products? And – does the producer not have some responsibility for what happens to the container? Why should the taxpayer pay for the disposal of the “recyclables” instead of the producer?

    I think “recycling” makes it too easy for there to be wasteful packaging.

  2. Jane — you’re right. Too much packaging, and wasteful use of a very limited resource (petroleum). Since Waste Mgmt is offering to collect such a wide range of plastics, I’m guessing they’ll be selling it to the plastic parktable and plastic lumber manufacturers — the lowest grade of plastics recycling (yogurt containers, shampoo bottles and butter tubs are typically blends of different plastics). Earlier, trying to take only #1 and #2, they were attempting to sell for higher grade recycling. I suppose we should all look to plastic lumber when we need to replace our deck, just to support keeping plastic yogurt containers and bags out of the landfill.

  3. George:
    My understanding is that very little is truly recycled “cradle to cradle”: pop bottles are always made from virgin plastic, since presumably hazy recycled plastic would be less appealing by comparison. #5 (polypropylene), however, seems prevalent enough to be reused for more #5. Preserve Products is known as a producer of products made from recycled $5 — and accepted again for recycling.

    Plastics do not account for a significant use of petroleum (compared to, say, driving), but you and Jane are both right: it is better to reduce the demand than to simply mitigate the wastefulness of the product. It would be helpful if manufacturers were held accountable with some sort of resource consumption tax/credit system — perhaps a sort of “cap and trade” for resources on the ground.

  4. The December issue of the Rice County Report “The official newsletter of Rice County” arrived at our house today.

    The headline on the plastics announcements page says “… beginning January 1, 2012.”

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