Recycling through the system reached a record-high rate of 90 percent in 2018, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Monday.
The bottle deposit system, in which Oregonians bring their recyclable containers to deposit centers rather than having them picked up curbside, recently expanded to accept more types of containers and doubled the payout for depositing eligible containers to 10 cents.
Joel Schoening with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, which runs the bottle deposit system, suggested that the program’s record success is unexpected due to “change” in global recycling markets. Some recyclable buyers like China are putting limits on recyclable materials due to too much mixture of nonrecyclable trash, according to the report. And within Oregon, some recycling companies are struggling to find buyers, sending their recyclables to landfills instead.
“Because we deal only in glass, plastic and aluminum with very few exceptions, we have a very clean recycling product,” he told the station. “Which makes it easier to sell and recycle domestically.”
Curbside recycling programs, on the other hand, allow for a much more extensive mixture of nonrecyclable trash into recycling streams.
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