Plastic Recycling

It is difficult to imagine a world without plastic, as it is among the most versatile materials ever developed. Unfortunately, 50% of the plastic we use is used just once and then thrown away. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times and we only recover about 5% of the plastic produced.

The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic each year. Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in our ocean, the largest of which is off the coast of California and is twice the size of Texas. Plastic in our oceans accounts for about one million bird and 100,000 marine mammal deaths each year.

In fiscal year 2017, the Transfer Station recycled 123,760 pounds of plastic, which means 62 tons of material was diverted from the solid waste stream and saved the town $4,588 is disposal fees.

A New Life

Your effort to recycle - or even refuse - plastic goes a long way to stop the negative influences of plastic on our planet. You can make a difference! Recycled plastic can be made into a variety of things from a new container to automotive parts. Your old milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, water bottles and soda bottles could end up being made into carpeting, clothing or even composite lumber. 


Types of Plastic That Can Be Recycled

Weston's Transfer Station takes rigid plastic #1 - #7 (lids, caps, and rings, too) and they don't need to be sorted. Please rinse clean containers and bottles before placing them in the plastic hopper. Dirty containers contaminate the load, making it unrecyclable.

No Wraps or Plastic Bags - but these are recyclable, too!

Yes, plastic bags (for grocery, dry cleaning, food storage, etc.) and wraps (for newspaper, paper towels/napkins packaging) can be recycled, but the reason why they cannot be included in with rigid plastic recycling is that they jam up the grinders, breaking the machines, and spoil the load. Many grocery stores, home improvement stores, and retailers accept plastic bags and wraps for recycling. Look for the bins near the entrances of these shops. The collection load is much larger at a retail location than at the Transfer Station, which is more desirable for buyers. Plastic bags and wraps are recycled to create new bags and wraps and also composite decking.

More from Weston's DPW

Step Up Your Recycling - Plastics (PDF)