Can you clarify plastic and styrofoam recyling?

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Well, the landscape for all recycling has certainly changed in the last 2 years, so we have to be patient as we learn a new routine.
The employees of the garbage service are the final authority, but this is my understanding:
  1. Plastic film recycling: There's a barrel at most big grocery stores for plastic film. the kind of plastic film that crinkles when you wad it up must be put in the trash. I'm thinking of the kind of plastic that flower bouquets are wrapped in at the grocery. Film for recycling must be empty, clean and dry.
  2. Other plastics: Only plastics that are formed into jugs or bottles can be recycled. That is to say, containers that are narrower at the top, the mouth of the container than they are at the bottom. Things like milk jugs or laundry soap jugs can be recycled. Yogurt, cottage cheese or spreadable butter tubs marked number 5 can be, others not. Nor can the clear kinds of plastics that stores like Costco pack apples into. All plastic containers must be empty, clean and dry.
  3. Styrofoam: First Alternative Coop recycles Styrofoam at the south Corvallis store, for a fee.
  4. Cardboard and office paper: These are still recyclable.

Recyclables are commodities sold on global markets. It's only profitable to collect materials for recycleable when 1. there is a market for them and 2. the cost of collecting and shipping them to the market is less than what the market will pay.

In the west, trash and recycling services are handled by for-profit corporations. In many jurisdictions further east, the people who handle trash and recyclables are public employees. It costs us to dispose of things, whether we pay for a service or pay more taxes. I hope this helps a little bit.

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