Recycling Update – What’s Up and What You Can Do

Here is a collection of links that will help you understand the issues:

Humorous, very accurate video:

National News Dashboard for the Waste Industries focus on Oregon:

Portland Tribune:

Good article in Resource Recycling outlining a timeline of China’s import ban and other factors at play:

Public Radio International piece:

Since different recycling companies and different communities use differing relationships and systems to get collected materials to manufacturers, there is no one single message about what goes in your recycle cart. PLEASE FOLLOW YOUR COLLECTION SERVICE’S INSTRUCTIONS. IF IN DOUBT, FIND OUT or LEAVE IT OUT.

The following instructions have ALWAYS been true for commingled recycling:


Include: Paper plates, coffee cups, freezer boxes, takeout containers, wrappers, facial tissue, Styrofoam™, plastic bags, plastic containers labeled compostable, rigid clamshells, painted or stained wood, plywood, incandescent light bulbs.

Stringy, flexible items clog the sorting equipment, making it ineffective.

Do not include in your curbside recycling items such as clothing, Christmas lights, cords, and more. They may be recyclable, but not in the curbside or commingled recycling.

Keep the faith, Recycling still works!

Bottle Deposit system WORKS. Materials are all recycled right here in Oregon. Remember, ALL teas, juices, carbonated, coffee drinks, waters etc. are included!   (No wine , liquors, milk meal replacements)

While corrugated cardboard and other materials (office paper, clean clear plastic wrap/ pallet wrap, etc) may not be valuable enough to get free collection at your door, but many are likely to be recyclable if you (or an associate) deliver it– check with your recycler and think about forming the opposite of a buyers club… a recycler’s club—collecting from neighbors and delivering it to be recycled. Now that’s sustainability in action!