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RE: [GreenYes] margarine and yogurt tubs
Sharon-

Here is a bit more detail in addition to what Heide wrote.

The difference between the HDPE in tubs vs. bottles is the melting point
of the.  HDPE is basically simple long straight chains of hydrocarbons,
just like paraffin wax.  The difference between the HDPE in bottles and
in tubs is that the molecules used for bottles are longer, and melt at a
higher temperature.  Bottles are made through blow-molding.  You need
the plastic resin to be stiff so that it can be blown evenly into the
edge of the mold and not fall apart.  Tubs, on the other hand, are made
by injection molding.  For injection molding, you need the plastic resin
to be very runny so that it will run evenly into all parts of the mold.
You can recycle bottles back into bottles and tubs back into tubs.  If
you mix too many bottles in with your tubs, then when you try to inject
the resin into an injection mold, it will not run evenly into the mold
and the tub will have holes and unformed places.  If you mix too many
tubs in with your bottles, the plastic will not blow evenly into the
blow mold, and again you will end up with holes or other problems.

Households produce many more bottles than tubs.  Because relatively few
tubs are produced, there are not a lot of buyers out there who buy tubs.
I don't know of ways to mechanically separate bottles from tubs, so
somebody needs to do it by hand.  If your hauler is collecting both
bottles and tubs, it might be worthwhile to check what actually happens
to the tubs - are they really being recycled, or are they eventually
being discarded somewhere.

Peter Spendelow
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
------------------------------

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 15:12:44 -0700
From: Sharon_Gates@ci.long-beach.ca.us
Subject: [GreenYes] margarine and yogurt tubs

What is the difference, from a recycling standpoint, between a #2
beverage 
container and a #2 yogurt tub?  Our curbside recycling program collects
#1 
through #4 plastics, but I have just learned from our MRF that 
margarine-and-yogurt-tub-type things are not recycled but are considered

waste.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California
562/570-4694

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 15:27:26 -0700 
From: Heide Feldman <hfeldman@mrwmd.org>
Subject: RE: [GreenYes] margarine and yogurt tubs

The process for making a tub is different from a bottle and therefore
requires a different plastic resin, even though both are listed as #2
HDPE
plastic.  We fought this situation for a long time here, saying people
could
only recycle "narrow-mouthed, broad-bottom" containers.  Luckily our
haulers
finally agreed to accept all plastic containers 1 - 7 and we no longer
had
to deal with that awkward description and limitation on our recycling
programs. 
Hope that helps, 

Heidi Feldman 
Public Education Coordinator 
Monterey Regional Waste Management District 
Tel.: 831/384-5313     FAX: 831/384-3567 

- -----Original Message-----
From: Sharon_Gates@ci.long-beach.ca.us
[mailto:Sharon_Gates@ci.long-beach.ca.us]
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 3:13 PM
To: greenyes@grrn.org
Subject: [GreenYes] margarine and yogurt tubs



What is the difference, from a recycling standpoint, between a #2
beverage
container and a #2 yogurt tub?  Our curbside recycling program collects
#1
through #4 plastics, but I have just learned from our MRF that
margarine-and-yogurt-tub-type things are not recycled but are considered
waste.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California
562/570-4694

------------------------------

End of [Greenyes Digest] V3 #119
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