This article was originally published on the Wenatchee World website on 2/6/19. Click here for a link to the original publication. 


Central Washington Recycling will no longer be taking plastic, aluminum and tin.

The Central Washington Recycling center run by the Michelsen Packaging Company on Hawley Street will now only take mixed paper and corrugated cardboard. The change took place Feb. 1, according to a Chelan County news release.

The problem is that price of plastics continues to fall and the company is receiving recycling contaminated by food, Michelsen Packaging Accountant Josh Williamson said.
“There is not a whole lot of money in plastic anymore,” Williamson said. “It is basically worthless.”

People also continue to drop off recycling that hasn’t been properly cleaned, which makes it garbage, he said. The company then spends a lot of time and money trying to sort through people’s garbage.

It hasn’t helped that the price of oil and gasoline continues to fall, Williamson said. Plastic is derived from gasoline. So plastic manufacturers are left to decide between making brand new plastics or using recycled material.

“When there is no price difference between the two than it is up to them to say, “Well why would I want to deal with the contaminates?” he said.

There is a recycling center in Texas that takes plastics and turns them into diesel, Williamson said. But it doesn’t make sense to ship plastic there for $6 a pound. It might become more economical if a recycling center opened in Washington state.

Last year the drop-off recycling center at the North Chelan Transfer Station closed, leaving the Dryden Transfer Station as the only drop-off recycling site for county residents, according to the county news release.

County residents in the Lake Chelan area and Manson can call Zippy Disposal at 509-682-5464 to pick up their recycle for a charge. Other residents can call Waste Management at 509-662-4591 for $9.80 every other week,. Douglas County residents can also use this service.

The following cities provide recycling services:
The city of Wenatchee provides curbside recycling with its garbage service.
The city of Leavenworth provides recycling with an additional subscription.
The city of Chelan provides curbside recycling with its garbage service.
The city of East Wenatchee provides curbside recycling with its garbage service.

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