Sept. 26, 2018 — This weekend could mark a significant change in the way Florence residents view the confusion surrounding plastic recycling. Many residents have decided that the restrictions and uncertainty surrounding the many types of plastic containers they bring home from the store is too great a challenge and are throwing all plastic into the trash.
However, this weekend there are opportunities to recycle some types of plastic as Lane County Waste Management is offering a free plastic Recycling Roundup on Sunday, Sept. 30.
According to Kelly Bell, coordinator for Lane County’s Master Recycler Program, the Recycle Roundup was created as a response to the elimination of plastic recycling in towns across the county, including Florence. This change in the public’s ability to recycle plastic waste materials has created a wave of concern which prompted the roundup.
Sunday’s collection effort seeks to create additional recycling options to the currently accepted list. Lane County has provided materials on what can be recycled this Sunday. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Glenwood Central Receiving Station, 3100 East 17th Ave. in Eugene.
Locally, there are still a few more days to contribute to the plastic drop-off effort without having to make the trip into Eugene on Sunday.
To aid in the “Recycle Roundup” two local groups, Florence Master Recyclers and Florence Precious Plastics are actively participating in the effort by collecting and transporting plastics to Eugene. Members are preparing to drive Eugene to recycle as much plastic as they can fit in a truck, car or even a bus.
Master Recycler Michele Le Blanc has taken the lead in gathering and separating all the different types of plastic that will be accepted at the Glenwood Transfer Station roundup.
Le Blanc will continue accepting plastic waste through Sept. 28 afternoon at her home, which is located at 2045 19th St. Her phone number is 541-997-1275 for those wanting to schedule an appointment for drop off or to answer questions about the roundup.
“We plan to accept plastics until Friday because it will take time for us to look through people’s donations, so we don’t include garbage or dirty plastic, or the wrong type of plastic,” Le Blanc said. “It is our hope that this will be a monthly offering to us, so please bring the correct plastic that is clean.”
Le Blanc wants to make dropping off plastic waste at her home as easy as possible and she has boxes labeled for each type of plastic, container type and container shape. This model was suggested by Lane County to make drop off of materials as efficient as possible.
Bell said only specific 2, 4 and 5 plastics can be accepted at this time, and they must be clean and dry. They can be tubs, jugs, bottles, lids and beverage handles that are clean and free of debris.
“Materials must be sorted by resin code — all material types must be bagged separately by number and by type or shape, with bottles separate from tubs and separate from lids,” she said.
The second local opportunity to transport designated plastic waste to Glenwood takes place this Saturday at the Florence Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87738 Highway 101 at Heceta Beach Road.
Florence Precious Plastics spokesperson Eileen Angilletta encourages interested individuals to bring plastic recyclables that have been cleaned and sorted to the fellowship on Saturday.
“You may help us fill an old school bus with plastic on Saturday, Sept. 29,” Angilletta said. “Precious Plastics Florence, Florence Environmental Management Advisory Committee (EMAC), Florence ORganizes Environmental Team and the Climate Alliance are working together with the Master Recyclers to make the roundup happen here locally.”
Both Angilletta and Le Blanc emphasized the importance of proper prep of materials to be dropped off and brought to Eugene.
If people decide to deliver their own plastics to the Recycling Roundup, the plastic must be cleaned and sorted by number, color and size. Plastics should be in boxes or paper bags only and people need to bring their plastics from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers at the site will check plastics while people remain in their car.
For more information on the Recycle Roundup, contact Bell at [email protected] or 541-682-2059.