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OR trashed more, recycled less

PAUL LEPINSKI, owner of A&P Recycling in The Dalles, rakes up trash and pieces of cardboard Monday afternoon as he cleans up his recycling area. More recycling is waiting to be shipped then usual due to closure of Interstate 5 last week due to flooding and snow in the Columbia River Gorge.

Photo by Mark Gibson
PAUL LEPINSKI, owner of A&P Recycling in The Dalles, rakes up trash and pieces of cardboard Monday afternoon as he cleans up his recycling area. More recycling is waiting to be shipped then usual due to closure of Interstate 5 last week due to flooding and snow in the Columbia River Gorge.



Recycling Resources

HAZARDOUS WASTE

Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling Program, 419 E. 7th St., The Dalles. Hazardous waste collection events for 2016: The Dalles, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Dalles Disposal, 1317 W. First St.; Maupin, April 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the public works department, 390 3rd St. in Maupin; Moro, May 6, Moro road department, 501 Hood St. (Agriculture, household and small business); Dufur, May 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Barlow Ranger Station; The Dalles, May 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Dalles Disposal, 1317 W. First St.; The Dalles, Aug. 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Dalles Disposal, 1317 W. First St.; Tygh Valley, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Mosier, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; The Dalles, Agricultural producer collection, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Dalles Disposal, 1317 W. First St. and The Dalles, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Dalles Disposal, 1317 W. First St.

CURBSIDE RECYCLING

Curbside recycling services are provided throughout The Dalles Disposal service area in Wasco, Sherman and Hood River Counties. Curbside service may vary, depending on whether you are a business or household and where you are located (City, incorporated rural center, un-incorporated area). For more information, call The Dalles Disposal Service: 541-298-1598. Hazardous waste collection site. Yard debris disposal.

COMPUTERS

Students Recycling Used Technology (StRUT) is a not for profit organization that provides technology education, resources, and recycling to schools across Oregon. StRUT’s backbone of operations is collecting used technology equipment to be redeployed for use in schools or responsibly recycled. StRUT in Wasco County is located at the old Petersburg Elementary School, 3855 15 Mile Rd. Call 541-296-2630 for more information.

Cell phones can be recycled at Staples, 60 Mount Hood Street. The Dalles. Information at 541-298-2222.

RECYCLING

Tygh Valley, South County Transfer Station, Mel’s Sanitary Service, Inc., 57590 Yew Drive, Tygh Valley. 541-483-2500. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Separated recyclables accepted free: Cardboard, co-mingled, glass.

A&P Recycling, 280 Weber Street, The Dalles; Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Separated recyclables accepted free.

Dufur Lions City Park Depot, recycling, Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon. Recyclables accepted free of charge if self-hauled.

Home Depot, 3600 W 6th St., The Dalles, recycling. Materials accepted include: non-leaking car and tractor batteries, cell phones, unbroken CFL bulbs (no fluorescent tubes), non-leaking sealed lead-acid batteries and Nickel Metal Hydride, Lithium Ion, Nickel Zinc and Nickel Cadmium batteries. Call 541-296-7006.

Maupin City Park, recycling, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, three categories of recyclables accepted free if self-hauled: co-mingled (including cardboard), colored glass and clear glass.

Nelson’s Tire Factory, 116 W. Second St., The Dalles. Tire disposal for a fee, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call for prices, 541-298-5121.

Regional Disposal Company, 136 Tidyman Road, Dallesport, Wash. 509-767-4468. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in winter closed on Mondays. Out-of-county loads with fee, can dispose of 4-5 tires.

A new report from the state Department of Environmental Quality says people in Oregon sent more garbage to landfills and recycled less in 2014.

In Wasco County, 18,175 tons of trash were disposed of, 7,356 tons were recovered, with a total recovery rate – which includes reuse and residential composting – of 34.8 percent. Sherman County disposed of 1,159 tons, recovered 220 tons with a total recovery rate of 22 percent.

Sherman County exceeded the state recovery goal, set in 2009, of 20 percent but Wasco County was slightly below the recovery goal of 35 percent.

Paul Lepinski, owner of A&P Recycling in The Dalles, has made a business out of recycling since the 1980s.

“It’s a changing world out there,” he said of the current recycling market, which is driven now by the global economy.

“All this stuff is recyclable, but if there is no demand … you can only stockpile for so long,” he said.

At one time, industrial operations within the region paid to receive metals, plastics, cardboard and other common recyclables. Today, most packaging comes from China, creating an overseas recycling market. “The transportation costs just kill you,” Lepinski said.

One exception is cardboard, which he trucks to a plant in Longview, Washington, which uses it to make fruit boxes. He recycles 150 tons of cardboard a month, he said. But even cardboard has issues: In the past, recycled cardboard was just that, cardboard and glue. Today, there are many more contaminants like tape and staples. In the 1980s, contaminants made up only 5 percent of a load: Today, they make up 10 to 15 percent.

The market for recycled glass is also smaller than in the past, he said. “The only people using glass today are wineries and breweries,” he said.

Plastic is a good product, although the price today is very low, only two cents a pound. “It’s a petroleum product, and when the price of oil goes down, so does the price of recycled plastic,” he explained. Plastic is a good product, much lighter than glass, but you have to take care of it at the end, he said.

Although statewide Oregon sent more garbage to landfills and recycled less in 2014, Peter Spendelow, a DEQ solid waste analyst, told of the Statesman Journal the state beat its recycling target overall and continues to rank near the top nationwide for recycling rates.

Oregon households and businesses threw away a total of 2,572,453 tons of garbage last year, up 5.5 percent from 2013.

That’s 1,298 pounds per person, up 4.4 percent from the previous year’s per capita rate.

The statewide recovery rate was 51 percent of total waste generated, down from a record 53.9 percent in 2013. The state goal set by the Legislature is 50 percent.

Recovery includes recycling, composting, and burning for energy.

New legislation will make future recycling targets tougher for the state.

Senate Bill 263, passed by the 2015 Legislature, sets new recovery goals of 52 percent by 2020 and 55 percent by 2025.

Goals for each of the state’s 35 “wastesheds,” or counties, will also be revised, and the recycling and composting program credits will be eliminated.

The bill also will require all apartment complexes to provide recycling to tenants by in 2022.

A companion bill, SB 245, will increase DEQ fees on landfill tipping charges in order to fund more recycling and waste prevention activities. Those include grant programs, hazardous waste collection events, and a program to help school districts clean up classroom labs that contain old chemicals.

The fees will increase a basic residential garbage bill by 4 cents to 7 cents per month, DEQ estimates.



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