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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need to sort our recycling?

Sorting your recycling ensures that what we recycle doesn't actually end up in a landfill, plus it generates revenue through our free recycling program! Our small island waste management system is unique and highly effective thanks to every member of our community — customers, volunteers, and staff — who work together to provide our recycling partners with uncontaminated materials.


Can I throw batteries in the garbage?

All batteries are hazardous waste and should not be thrown away with your regular garbage. When hazardous waste is thrown in the garbage, it puts the safety of LSWDD customers, neighbors, volunteers, staff, and our shared environment at risk. Rechargeable batteries including lead acid car batteries, portable power tool batteries, and portable device batteries can be recycled at the Lopez Dump — notify the kiosk attendant upon arrival and follow their instructions. All other batteries must be stored until you can safely and legally dispose of them at one of San Juan County's household hazardous waste round-up events.  

Why can't I recycle plastic clamshells?

Unfortunately, plastic clamshells are very difficult to recycle, so our recycling partners don't accept them. While many clamshells are originally made with #1 PET plastic (the same material as most clear plastic bottles), the way they're manufactured makes them melt at a different temperature and break into different sized pieces than plastic bottles. They often also have very strong adhesive labels which contaminate recycling. Once flattened, clamshells are extremely difficult to separate from other materials at the speed and accuracy required to recycle them effectively. 

What do I do with empty propane or butane tanks? 

You can dispose of empty propane/butane tanks that are 10 gallons or less at the Dump for a $9.50 fee per tank. These tanks must be properly vented and disposed of safely — do not throw them in the garbage or leave them in the Recycle Plaza without first notifying the kiosk attendant and paying the proper fee. Thank you! 

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