Recycling Forum at Woodstock New Seasons

By Donna Lomnicki, RA Volunteer

I attended the first, of many, Recycling Forums at New Seasons Market on 45th and Woodstock. The new forum is the brain child of Estelle Morley, Assistant Operations Manager

The idea of this forum surfaced with the announcement from China that they are drastically reducing the acceptable amount of contamination in the scrap plastic that is shipped there. Thus, local collectors have halted the collection for shipments and consequently the collection of plastic at New Seasons has been eliminated until further notice.

Master Recyclers came out all three Community Recycling Forum days to help inform the public, and employees, about big changes in recycling and how big a role they all play. Estelle and the Master Recyclers provided extra context and resources around how to recycle and how not the be a “Wishful Recycler”.

On Sunday, in addition to a Master Recycler, we also had Jenica Barrett  join us to share her Zero Waste Wisdom as a complement to the diligence we were doing around reminding folks about the importance of  “Quality Recycling” in their curbside bins. “We focused much less on New Seasons Market and much more on how individuals in their own homes have a profound impact on the cycle of waste, and the importance of proper sorting and cleaning. We wanted to share the success and encourage others to reach out!” said Estelle.

The tabling display for acceptable and unacceptable plastic was presented each day by a Master Recycler and then questions were taken. The answers led to some very interesting discussions on the various plastics and what would be acceptable in the future when the Chinese policy begins January 1, 2018. The specific curbside acceptable plastics can be see on the Metro Recycling website. The scrap plastic that has been collected previously at New Seasons, would go to recycling centers such as Far West Recyclers, has been eliminated for now. Film, grocery bags and stretch wrap are still being collected by Safeway, Fred Meyer and other local grocery stores, that sell them to Trex to make composite decking (see the article “What goes into Composite Decking” in a future RA Newsletter).

Written by Donna Lomnicki
With credit to Estelle Morley for photos and quotes