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Re: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's.
In Lane County, Oregon (Eugene - home of the Ducks!) we have a
successful recycling program for post-consumer plastics that
includes bottles, tubs, and jars, nos. 1-5 and 7. We discontinued
no. 6 a few years back when the cost to recycle the stuff fell to
negative $350/ton, plus shipping. The only viable markets, really,
are for nos. 1 & 2. The other resins were collected and sold at a
loss. BRING, a nonprofit and the only processor in town, was
strapped having to supplement the losers, so a few years ago,
about the same time we disco-ed no. 6, we asked the County to
impose a processing fee ($110/ton) to defray the expense. The
money is collected via the haulers and is passed through to the
final processor/baler - which used to be exclusively us. When the
haulers saw how much fee was passing through, most bought balers
and started marketing their own. One of the intrinsic tragedies in
plastic recycling is that most of it ends up overseas - the good,
the bad, and the ugly. Whereas BRING is concerned with highest and
best use (if plastic can be thus classified) and has a sort-line
separating various resins to meet custom orders, the haulers
bundle everything together and send it to China. As much as 20% of
every bundle is plain, old garbage. When people call me and ask
what they can do with plastic lids, plastic forks and spoons,
plastic wading pools, plastic toys, etc., I tell them truthfully,
"Don't buy them in the first place." Let's hope domestic markets
for the less-desirable resins grow and mature! That at least will
buy a little time to educate the masses.
As for lids, there are two problems I have heard with them. First,
they are sometimes mixed or variant resins. And two, they tend to
jam up the grinders which reduce the post consumer plastics into
manufacturable pellets. That is why they are not collected. We are
trying to start a scrap-for-art program. One of our specialties is
a milk jug cap mandala. It, however, is as fleeting as clean air,
potable water, and pristine wilderness.

David Wollner
BRING Recycling


----- Original Message -----
From: "The Eden Sterling Company" <info@edensterling.com>
To: <swolpow@bates.edu>; <greenyes@grrn.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's.


> I guess it would really depend on how far that these items have
to be
> shipped. I know a few other people in my area that would save
their
> recyclable 5's and 6's for me and then they could be shipped
together every
> 2-3 months. The plastic containers themselves are very light and
it would
> take 100's to even get to a few pounds. They would be shipped
through the
> mail, which is a trucking and plane system that is already in
place. I don't
> imagine that the few shipments we would have would cause the
postal service
> to have to increase the number of trucks they use. If everyone
was shipping
> their 5's and 6's out, it might, but then that also might cause
a greater
> local demand for them.
>
> My 2 cents.
>
> Peace,
> Ben
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Sarah I. Wolpow <swolpow@abacus.bates.edu>
> To: Stephan Pollard <sp@cast.uark.edu>
> Cc: The Eden Sterling Company <info@edensterling.com>;
<greenyes@grrn.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 12:30 PM
> Subject: Re: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's.
>
>
> > I sometimes wonder about the cost/benefit of mailing things
out to get
> them
> > recycled. Trucking is such a huge source of pollution, it may
be better
> > environmentally to simply landfill the plastic rather than
burn fuel to
> get it to
> > a recycling plant... Any thoughts?
> >
>
>
>
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