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More of what comes around goes around

9:19 pm May 31st, 2012

More plastic from household products is being recycled in Pierce County after a public survey found that’s what people wanted. Plastic jars, tubs and buckets – yogurt, sour cream and salsa containers and cat litter buckets, for example – can now be added to curbside recycling carts. The first major addition to the recyclables list since 2005 applies to residents who are part of Pierce County’s solid-waste management system, which includes all of Pierce County except Tacoma, Ruston and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “We listened when residents told us they wanted more recycling options during last year’s recycling survey,” said County Executive Pat McCarthy. Adding more plastic to what’s recyclable diverts more material from the landfill in the Graham-Kapowsin area, is good for the environment and helps turn old items into new products, officials note. A plastic items’ shape determines if can be recycled. Acceptable shapes include bottles with necks smaller than the body, and rigid jars, tubs and buckets. Plastic still not accepted in curbside recycling program include plastic bags and wrap, crinkly and lightweight plastic, and lids. Items that are accepted “have the best chance of being recycled into new products,” said Brian Ziegler, director of the county’s Public Works and Utilities Department, which includes recycling among its programs. Curbside recycling also is open to paper and cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, milk jugs and plastic plant pots. A complete, updated list of accepted recyclables is available at www.piercecountywa.org/recycle and in a newsletter the county began mailing to homes April 24. Information is also available from recycling and garbage service providers. The latter include LeMay Enterprises for the Eatonville and Graham areas. Here are some do’s and don’ts of recycling in Pierce County: • Throw lids from plastic containers in the trash. • Plastic spouts on cartons are okay to recycle. • Loose lids on cans are a hazard to recycling workers. Don’t recycle them. • Give cartons a quick rinse. • Plastic bottles, tubs and buckets should be empty before being recycled. • Glass isn’t part of the curbside recycling, partly because it can break and interfere with the recycling process of other materials, and partly because there isn’t as much market demand for recycled glass. It can, though, be deposited in designated in 30 designated bins scattered throughout the county. One is in Eatonville, next to the skateboard park on Alder Street. Other locations include the LeMay/Pierce County Refuse headquarters in Frederickson at 4109 192nd St. E., the Central Pierce Fire and Rescue station in South Hill at 9813 128th St. E., and the South Pierce Fire and Rescue station in Roy at 302 McNaught St. ** Yard waste recycling is available through garbage/recycling services and at recycling stations. What’s accepted: Brush, tree branches and roots smaller than four inches in diameter, leaves, grass clippings, weeds, flowers, shrubs and plants. Not accepted: Sheet rock, asphalt, bricks, concrete, flower pots, animal waste, ash, rocks, sod and large amounts of dirt.

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