Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Contact Details

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(360) 397-2121 x4352

Resilient Recycler: Ditch the Disposables this Holiday… Just Not in the Recycling

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Disposables, what a name! The sheer bluntness of the word should immediately strike a trigger in those of us who consider ourselves avid recyclers. This year, Clark County urges you to think more about "use"-able and less about "dispose"-able.There is no shortage of disposable items out there, especially in terms of dish-ware. From cutlery to dinner plates, napkins and cups, pretty much any item that can be eaten off of can be found in disposable form. 

As we near the holidays, you might be tempted to purchase some of these items yourself due to convenience, but we're here to ask you to think twice on these urges and here is why:

1. Disposable dishware is NOT recyclable.That's right. It's disposable, not recyclable. Some disposable dishware may seem to be purely paper, but in reality these products also contain plastic which cannot be separated from the paper fibers in the process of recycling. Even products that are purely plastic, such as cutlery are not recyclable in your curbside recycling and will either be sorted out or contaminate good recycling. Additionally, all of these items will be soiled from use, which means they should never be recycled.

2. It takes energy & resources to make disposable. A reusable dish only needs to be reused 10 times to be more sustainable than a disposable plastic dish, and 17 times to be more sustainable than a paper one. Both plastic and paper dishware items require the use of natural resources in their production. The production of plastics relies on the use of petroleum (oil) and the production of paper products relies on trees, both of which are important natural resources. Not to mention the gas needed to transport the product to the actual store!

3. Using re-usable reduces waste. As obvious as it may seem, it is important to mention. Americans take up 5% of the world's population, but are responsible for 30% of the world's waste. Cutting down on disposables and replacing these items with reusable items will play a major role in reducing the amount of waste Americans are responsible for, plus you won't have to take out the garbage as often!

Don't recycle those dirty disposables!

For answers to all of your other recycling questions, visit RecyclingA-Z.com for proper disposal options!

Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Done Right
Tis' the Season ... to Waste Less Food

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