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12.22.17 - Changes to plastics recycling

New changes to plastics recycling at The Dump – December 22, 2017


Mixed Plastics #1-7, plastic bags and film, and agricultural plastics are no longer able to be recycled by LSWDD. We will continue to accept these plastics at the usual location in the recycling plaza until July, 2018 as a convenience and learning opportunity for our recycling customers. However, they will be deposited into the garbage dumpsters by staff daily. Please note this and begin placing these specific recyclables into your garbage at home – Mixed Plastics #1-7, plastic bags and film, and agricultural plastics – are now garbage until you hear otherwise. (Clean “ag plastic” planting pots may be accepted at TIOLI).

Plastics still accepted are #1 clear or lightly tinted bottles and jars (screw top lid), #2 cloudy bottles and jugs (

screw top lid), and #2 colored bottles and jars (screw top lid). They must be clean and sorted.

More about Mixed Plastics #1#7: molded plastics, Clamshells, tubs, and darkly tinted #1 bottles are no longer accepted for recycling. A #2 yogurt container or ice cream tub is not a bottle with a screw top lid so it is no longer accepted for recycling It’s the same molecule as a #2 cloudy milk jug or colored detergent tub but because it is not a bottle it is not accepted. Illogical but that’s the rule that the recycling industry places on us.


In 2017, China announced that it would stop accepting global shipments of many low-grade plastics, metals, and mixed paper. LSWDD provides very clean, sorted streams of materials so only our lowest grade plastics are being affected at this time. Our recycling ‘buyer’ – Skagit River Steel and Recycling – has been stockpiling some of our shipments of these materials over the past several months in hopes of a market opening up to receive them. They have not found any buyers further down the supply chain and must stop accepting them as recycling from us at this time. Other recycling buyers are in the same position, unfortunately.

How Long?

Treating plastics as garbage instead of recycling is predicted to get worse before it gets better around the U.S. LSWDD plans to leave these ‘garbage plastics’ receptacles in place in the Recycling Plaza until July, 2018.

Anything else?

We continue to monitor the global recycling situation very closely in hopes of new buyers and processors opening up with large capacity. We are also analyzing options for processing some volume of plastics on-site, such as with our Re-Make Lab or a larger application using similar technology. As always, achieving Zero Waste starts with consumers, so please monitor your purchases and make any adjustments possible to keep garbage out of landfills.

For more information please email


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