Plastic recycling returns in Washington County


Washington County’s Solid Waste Department will accept No. 1 and No. 2 plastics for recycling beginning July 12.

“Getting plastics out of the waste stream is something we wanted to revisit, and we are now accepting the two largest categories of consumer plastics again,” said Lewis Haynie. “Residents can look at the bottom of the container, and if they see a 1 or a 2 we will take those plastics.”

Solid Waste asks that you only place the recyclables in the containers designated for plastics. If you bring your plastics in a trash bag, please dump the containers out of the bag and put the bag in the regular trash bins on site.

No. 1 plastics are Polyethylene Terephthalate, commonly referred to as PET or PETE. These are normally clear in color and not intended to be used multiple times. Items fitting that description include:

• Large bottles or containers that once held a liquid

• Salad dressing bottles and other food and drink containers

• Glossy, rigid containers that sink in water, such as clamshell containers that hold fruits and vegetables

PET plastic is recyclable and about 25% of PET bottles in the US today are recycled. The plastic is crushed and then shredded into small flakes which are then reprocessed to make new PET bottles, or spun into polyester fiber. This recycled fiber is used to make textiles such as fleece garments, carpets, stuffing for pillows and life jackets

No. 2 plastics are High Density Polyethylene. These are also common in most households and include:

• Rigid containers that usually have a milky or solid color

• Milk jugs, detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, or any other large container that once held a liquid (recyclable if clean)

HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use. HDPE plastic is very hard-wearing and does not break down under exposure to sunlight or extremes of heating or freezing.

If you have questions regarding your plastics recycling, please see the information posted at the County’s Convenience Centers. The Convenience Centers, which are available for use by all county residents are open at various times during the week and on Saturdays:

Cash Hollow Convenience Center
193 Cash Hollow Road, Johnson City
Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Gray Convenience Center
160 Mosley Road, Gray
Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Lamar Convenience Center
3389 Highway 81 S., Jonesborough
Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Locust Mount Convenience Center
224 Harmony Road, Jonesborough
Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Washington College Convenience Center
255 Bill West Road, Limestone
Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
Saturday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


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