Plastics Recycling Event Draws Crowds

Oct 1, 2018

Cars, and a bicycle, line up to turn in plastics at Sunday's event.
Credit Karen Richards

Lane County loves to recycle. At Sunday's 'Plastics Round-up' at the Glenwood Transfer Station in Springfield, nearly 300 people participated in the first hour.


The event was possible because Denton Plastics, a Portland-based company that turns some plastics into reusable pellets, agreed to a trial. Sarah Grimm is a Waste Reduction Specialist with the county:


Grimm: “I think we got word that Denton worked with Fred Meyer(s) up in Portland and did a collection event. And then we were quick to call them and say 'Hey can we do it here?' At first it was 'No, no it's post consumer we're not interested.'”


Sarah Grimm sorts containers into large bags at the Lane County Plastics Round-up.
Credit Karen Richards

Grimm says Denton eventually agreed. They brought representatives to Springfield, and they'll take a few days to make sure the material is clean enough for their machines. Grimm hopes they can partner again, saying, “It would be a goal of ours, until the markets correct and other opportunities are available ... all I can say is every six months. Maybe quarterly, we just don't know at this time.”


Stacy Giroux sorts her recycling at a table behind the lines of cars. She's tracked her purchases since the April curbside recycling changes, and says it's been eye opening:

Giroux: "It was devastating when they said that they weren't going to recycle plastic anymore. Because so much of what we buy is plastic and I didn't realize that until I started trying not to buy it.” 


Denton takes only plastics labeled number 2, 4 or 5, and containers must be clean, with labels removed.