Facebook118Tweet0Pin1 Submitted by Thurston County Solid WasteRecycling can be complicated and plastic items confuse people the most. Contrary to popular belief, the chasing arrow with the number on the bottom of a plastic product does not mean it is recyclable – it just provides the type of resin the product was made from. To make things easier, here are some tips on what plastic does and doesn’t go in your curbside recycling bin if you live in Thurston County.Bottles, Jugs and Jars – These can all be recycled with the rule being that the neck must be at least slightly narrower than the base. Think soda bottles, detergent jugs, and peanut butter jars. These are items products came in, not your food storage container or reusable water bottle.Tubs – You can recycle opaque dairy tubs: cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc. But the clear tub that your salsa or fancy olives came in are not recyclable. And just to throw you, the clear container that your parmesan cheese is in cannot be recycled. Yes, I know that it is dairy, but the container is clear. So it is just the whitish or opaque tubs that go in your recycling.Medicine Bottles – See the above two items – neck narrower than the base and opaque. The white bottle you’re over-the-counter antacids came in is fine, but the orange tinted, straight sided, brittle bottle from your prescription is not. However, prescriptions are starting to come in orange tinted bottles with narrow necks and those are recyclable.Rigid Plant Pots and Buckets – These go in your recycling bin but take the metal handles off of your buckets. The thin crinkly little plant pots are not recyclable.Lids – All plastic lid go in the trash. Loose lids from bottles are small and fall out during the screening process to end up in the trash. Lids from tubs are flat and end up in the paper that goes to paper mills. People often leave lids on when there is still liquid or other products in the containers. When the recycling is compacted in the truck, the lids come off and everything gets contaminated – especially the paper – and reduces the value.Plastic Shopping Bags – These never go in your recycling bin. Plastic bags and film cause more problems than any other item in the recycling system since they get wrapped up in the equipment and cause expensive shut downs. Bags also catch wind during bin pickups and float like butterflies to create ugly litter and cause damage to wildlife and the environment. If you place loose plastic bags in the trash, tie them in knots so they can’t become airborne.Plastic Clam Shells – No, no and no. Try to buy the foods that are not in these containers.Styrofoam – This does not go in your bin but you can take it to the DART facility in Tumwater or at the WARC recycle center. Check www.WhereDoITakeMy.org for details.Just remember, when in doubt – leave it out. You can always find recycling and waste reduction information on the Thurston Solid Waste website at www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org or call 360-867-2491.