MEDFORD, Ore. — After a global clampdown on recycling that began in 2017, a trio of waste management companies in southern Oregon say they're ready to begin accepting a few more items in local recycling bins.
Republic Services, Rogue Disposal & Recycling, and Southern Oregon Sanitation announced in a joint release on Wednesday that #1 and #2 plastic bottles and jugs will now be accepted in curbside recycling carts and at local recycle depots.
"As a result of the global recycling markets crisis in late 2017, most plastics had to be removed from curbside programs due to high levels of plastic contamination," the companies said. "Since the crisis, these three companies have worked tirelessly to create a cleaner recycling stream and help stabilize the domestic market so that more materials could be accepted."
In order to find out if you've got a #1 or #2 plastic bottle, there are a few things you can do. First, check the shape — only plastic bottles and jugs will be accepted. Next, the neck of the container must be smaller than the base. Finally, these plastics should have a #1 or #2 stamped inside of a recycle triangle symbol on the bottom of the container.
Once you have determined that a container can be recycled, you should always remove the lid, empty the contents, and rinse the container thoroughly before placing it in your curbside cart or dropping it off at a recycle depot.
“We could not have accomplished this goal without the focused efforts of recycling programs across Southern Oregon and the dedication of our community members to follow the new recycling guidelines,” said Laura Leebrick, Community and Governmental Affairs Manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling. “We are pleased and grateful to be able to celebrate this year’s Earth Day with this remarkable milestone.”
Beyond the newly accepted bottles and jugs, these local recycling companies are still accepting newspapers and inserts (but not magazines), corrugated cardboard, and tin or aluminum cans.
“As we make this transition, it is important to remember to only place acceptable items in your recycling cart,” says Leebrick. “In order to continue stabilizing the recycling market we have to keep contaminants out of the carts. That means no plastic bags, clamshell containers, lids, or any plastics stamped with #3 through #7.”
The companies said that they will continue to work with customers to find and remove any items that don't belong in the curbside bins.