Curbside Recycling for Plastics To End
It may soon be the end of recycling as we know it. New Chinese regulations will likely put an end to the plastics recycling industry in America or at the very least cause major changes. In the heyday of recycling China was desperate for all the resources they could get their hands on but now with a glut in the market China is changing its stance. One of the reasons is that residential recycling practices have gotten sloppy. The main plastic recyclable items have always been p-1’s and p-2’s or food grade containers but in the sorting process the presence of food, liquids, strings and plastic bags contaminate the plastics turning tons of good recyclable items into unusable garbage. Last night at the meeting of the EMAC Committee in Florence, Dave Twombly from central coast disposal spoke to the group about the changes in China’s policy that are immediately affecting Florence.
“As of January first 2018, they’re only going to accept pure recycling. Which means that it has less than .03 percent of impurities. So basically 3 impure parts per thousand of impurities and they’ll take it, otherwise they’re going to turn the container ship around and say we don’t want you here.”
Twombly says that this means they will have to discontinue their curbside recycling of plastics. Because it is plastic that is causing the impurities. He says that people put unclean food containers, plastic bags and other non-recyclable plastics in recycling that cause the impurities and there has to be a re-education so that people can know what are the correct items for recycling. Twombly also said that Lane County’s will continue to collect plastic recyclables at their locations since they are able to monitor what goes into the containers.
Committee Ready to Send City A Proposal
Continuing on recycling the EMAC committee also worked on a proposal to put before the city with verbiage on what the committee deems appropriate for acceptable containers. They have been trying to decide how to word their proposal so that it would reach their goals and also be accepted by the full city council. One of the areas that has been the toughest to navigate for them is the influx of prepackaged meats that arrive at local stores like Safeway and Fred Meyer. These packages are typically Styrofoam. The committee seems to agree that a ban on stores using Styrofoam for in-house packaging won’t be that difficult for stores, but third party products may be a little tougher. The committee decided to exclude third party products for the time being, but that it is not off the table completely until they have had time to research third party sources.
Prices Refuse to Budge
The average price for a gallon of gas in Florence continues to hold steady in the $2.55 range as uncertainty still looms on the east coast and in Puerto Rico. Here on the west coast refineries have finished their maintenance schedules and have started to produce the winter time blends. AAA Oregon says that this should mean a steady fall in prices over the next month. Statewide Oregon is high and holding in the $2.90 range and remains in the top 5 for most expensive fuel in the country.