Recycling Mythbusters: Recycling isn’t universal

February 5th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

By Mythbuster Rachel Tholl

Who are the Recycling Mythbusters?

We are Kyle “Reedcycler” Reed, Amanda “Jill of All Trades” Abbott and Rachel “Waste Watcher” Tholl. This term we will be introducing you to some recycling-based myths, and busting them so you don’t have to.

From left to right: Amanda Abbott, Rachel Tholl, and Kyle Reed.

From left to right: Amanda Abbott, Rachel Tholl, and Kyle Reed.

Together we are the Recycling Mythbusters.

We don’t just tell the myths, we put them to rest.

Myth: Recycling is the same wherever you go

At most waste management and transfer centers, there are many (if not all) types of recyclables that can be sorted and left. But when using curbside recycling, each city has its own local menu of which recyclables can be left in the bins outside.

When it comes down to it, what is recyclable is determined by what an individual municipality’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) accepts. In turn, what MRFs take in is reliant on the value and market demand of the item.

Click to visit Republic Services Corvallis webpage

Click to visit Republic Service's Corvallis webpage

Corvallis in particular uses Republic Services, which handles a large range in materials from the curbside bins. Republic Services is a nationwide company, but its recycling capabilities vary from city to city. In one area it may be possible to recycle plastic bags (although there isn’t too much demand for this in Corvallis, where the plastic bag ban is in effect), but in the next city over plastic bags can’t be handled. Last week, we took a look at how plastic bags can get caught in the machinery at sorting facilities.

View OSUs online recycle guide

View OSU's online recycle guide

OSU’s on-campus recycling program boasts a wide variety of options for those looking to recycle their waste instead of throwing it in the trash can. Campus Recycling offers an online guide as to what students, staff, and community members can recycle on campus. It’s easy to look these specifics up, or to even memorize them if you plan on being in the Corvallis area for a while. In three dorms (Halsell, West, and Wilson), there are composting options available. In all dorms you can recycle commingled materials (paper, plastic and metal containers), glass, and cardboard.

This post is part of our “Recycling Mythbusters” blog series, where we focus on busting common misconceptions about recycling. Tune in every week to learn more.

One Response to “Recycling Mythbusters: Recycling isn’t universal”

  1. [...] There is a term we like to use at Campus Recycling for individuals who recycle items regardless if they’re accepted in a recycling system or not. This term is “wishful recyclers.” While such people may have the best intentions, it doesn’t change the fact that some items just aren’t accepted at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF). [...]