An Improved Way To Recycle

By Dick Mason, The Observer March 27, 2013 03:05 pm

Darin Larvik of City Garbage Service in La Grande pulls out a sample selection of items, like this plastic meal dish, that have recently moved into the acceptable category for your recycling bin. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Darin Larvik of City Garbage Service in La Grande pulls out a sample selection of items, like this plastic meal dish, that have recently moved into the acceptable category for your recycling bin. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

City Garbage Service of La Grande increases number of plastic containers it accepts for recycling roller carts 

by DICK MASON / The Observer 

Recycling just became much easier for many Union County residents. 

City Garbage Service of La Grande is expanding the number of plastic containers it will take for its recycling roller carts.

“We are now accepting 30 percent more types of plastic containers,” said Darin Larvik, operations manager for City Garbage Service.

This means many Union County residents will have to spend significantly less time picking out plastic containers for their recycling roller carts. 

“People will enjoy recycling more because they will be sorting less,” Larvik said. “It will be much simpler and less time consuming.”

 Previously the only containers City Garbage Service accepted were those like milk jugs, in which the base was bigger than the neck. Now items like yogurt containers, in which the neck is bigger than the base, are also being accepted.

The reason is that containers, in which the neck is smaller than the base, are becoming increasingly expensive because they are made of higher quality plastic. 

Containers where the neck is larger than the base are made of inferior quality plastic but are becoming more popular with companies producing items from recycled plastic because of increasing oil prices. Petroleum is a major component of plastic.

Rising oil prices means companies making products from recyclable plastic will now accept lower quality plastic containers from City Garbage Service. 

“They are not paying us for the lower quality plastic but they are accepting it,” Larvik said. “We couldn’t give it away before.”

This helps City Garbage Service because previously all the low-quality plastic went to the Baker Landfill southeast of Baker City, where City Garbage Service sends all its garbage. City Garbage Service pays $59 a ton to the landfill for the garbage it sends there. The company will now be paying less to the landfill because fewer low-quality plastic containers will be shipped there.

City Garbage Service receives $500 a ton for the high-quality plastic containers it sells to companies making items from recycled plastic. 

Larvik noted that the change in City Garbage’s recycling policy does not mean all plastic items can be put in recycle roll carts. Plastic bags, toys, liners for pet food packages, styrofoam and more are still prohibited. 

 For additional information about the new recycling rules call City Garbage Service, 541-963-5459.