Lane County recycling event collects 7.49 tons of plastic

Lane County recycling event collects 7.49 tons of plastic
Posted on 05/03/2019

Lane County residents collected 7.49 tons of plastic items to be recycled at the Glenwood Transfer Station in April. The second Plastics Roundup was sponsored by Lane County Waste Management and the Master Recycler Program. The event attracted 1,043 vehicles that brought roughly 7,000 pounds of clean #2, #4, and #5 plastics - mostly bottles, jugs and tubs. The remainder of the material, close to 8,000 pounds was collected by “community collectors” who volunteered to do smaller collections throughout the month of March, leading up to the April 7 event. Community collectors represented larger community groups (e.g., businesses, community centers, churches, etc.) and were located more conveniently for residents, reducing traffic and pollution.


In September 2018, Lane County staff teamed up with Denton Plastics to collect plastics in response to the growing needs of Lane County residents who wanted a solution for plastics during the disruption to international recycling markets.

 

Denton Plastics grinds the plastic into chips or melts it into pellets. The resin from recycled plastics is then sold to manufacturers that make new products such as park benches, decking, flower pots, electronic component parts, and much more.

 

"We appreciate being part of the Lane County recycling event and were really impressed with how many people turned out, it was really inspiring," said Denton Plastics Logistics Manager Matt Denton. “We received the second load of scrap and, like the first, it looked really good. Thank you for letting Denton Plastics be a small part of your recycling program, it is truly appreciated.”

 

The April event relied heavily on the community collector format, which was an impressive community-based grassroots effort. The change in format was intentional and meant to limit traffic congestion on the day of the event, but also reduce the overall carbon footprint residents coming to the event to drop off plastics. Residents were encouraged to bundle their trip to Glenwood; however, 72 percent of attendees collected for their households only.

 

Lane County hopes to continue to collect from registered community collectors who are trained and knowledgeable about what can and cannot be accepted. For more information about the future of Plastics Roundups, subscribe to Lane County’s WasteWise News. To request information about how you can sign up to be a community collector, email PlasticsRoundup@co.lane.or.us. For information about what is recyclable in Lane County, ask the Garbage Guru.