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Plastic recycling expands

ENCINITAS — Tossing your plastics into the garbage just got harder to justify. EDCO Recycling and Waste Collection Services now accepts many more plastic items in its curbside recycling bins than it has in the past according to company Vice President Jeff Ritchie. The change started July 1.
The executive made the announcement to City Council during the Aug. 18 meeting. “I think there was an announcement about this expansion in the newsletter that comes with your trash bill,” Deputy Mayor Maggie Houlihan noted. “Don’t throw away or recycle those newsletters before reading them; they have a lot of good information.”
Indeed, customers were notified about the change through the mail, but Ritchie said the company wants to make sure people are well-informed. In addition to the outreach campaign, a new video on the company’s website is aimed at educating customers as to what is recyclable.
“The reason we’ve held off on adding these materials is we only had one market — China,” he told the council. There is no domestic market for the recycled plastics according to Ritchie. “We wanted to make sure we had at least three markets in case we get shut out of China,” he told the council. “It’s happened before.”
If China stopped accepting various plastics, EDCO would be able to find another market for them, Ritchie said. The waste removal company now believes it could sell the recycled plastics in other countries.
Previously, EDCO only accepted No. 1 and No. 2 plastics in its recycle bins. Now, it accepts No. 1 through No. 7, Ritchie said. People can find the plastic code number on the base of the containers.
In addition to typical plastic containers that hold food and liquids, EDCO also will be taking plastic planter pots and buckets as long as they have the correct numeric code number on the bottom, Ritchie said.
Single container, curbside recycling will continue in the city Ritchie noted. In addition to plastics, EDCO accepts cardboard, glass containers of all colors, paper that is free of food and metal cans in their recycling containers.
Some waste is still nonrecyclable. Styrofoam, straws and wax-coated products, such as juice and milk boxes, still must make their way into the garbage stream.
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