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.

Clark County makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this web site. However, due to the possibility of transmission errors, HTML browser capabilities, changes made since the last update to the site, etc., neither Clark County, nor any agency, officer, or employee of Clark County warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

In offering information on the Web, Clark County seeks to balance our requirement for public access with the privacy needs of individual citizens. Information that appears on the Clark County Web site is part of the public record. By law, it is available for public access, whether by telephone request, visiting county offices, or through other means.

This site contains links to other websites. Clark County is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content, accuracy or opinions expressed on such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked by us for accuracy or completeness. Inclusion of any linked website on our site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us.

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Green Blog

News about our community as it relates to the environment

Resilient Recycler: Recycle Plastics by Shape and Size

Ignore the numbers!
Bottles, jugs, tubs & jars

We all know how complicated things can get when numbers are involved, especially when it comes to recycling plastics. You are probably familiar with the numbers and plastics system, and you may remember "recycling by numbers" as a general rule from the 80s and 90s. But do you remember what these numbers mean? Or which numbers indicate recyclable? Probably not, and that's okay! The "numbers" system for plastics was originally developed by industries to determine the type of plastic material an item is made from and has no relevance to your recycling practices at home. Instead, think about the shape and size of the item you want to recycle. No more remembering confusing numbers. This guide will make you confident in determining which plastics are recyclable, and which plastics need to go in the trash.  

These items (bottles, tubs, jugs & jars) are OK to put in Big Blue when they are empty, clean and dry:

Bottles, Jugs & Jars
6 ounces (size of a fist) or larger

Ketchup bottles, shampoo bottles, laundry soap containers, milk jugs, peanut butter jars, water bottles, sports drink or juice bottles.​ Plastic bottles, jugs and jars are recyclable as long as they meet the size requirement of being 6 ounces or larger. This includes those with narrow and threaded necks.
Plastic Tubs & Buckets
6 ounces or larger, but not exceeding 5 gallons
​Food containers such as the kind that yogurt, cream cheese, salsa, or hummus come in. Buckets are just large tubs that have a handle. ​Most plastic tubs are recyclable as long as they meet the size requirements of 6 ounces or larger, but not exceeding 5 gallons. Tubs are typically round and have a rim that is wider than or just as wide as the base. When recycling
plastic tubs, do not include the lid because it is likely to pop off and contaminate other good recyclables.

These items should NEVER go in Big Blue because they cause contamination: 

​Plastic Bags/Film ​Plastic bags and plastic wrap clog up machinery at recycling centers.
Lids ​Lids are small and flat. They are often mistaken as paper in the sorting process, which causes contamination.
Molded Plastic Packaging​Examples include clamshells (hinged take-out containers), or blister packs. These types of plastic packaging are not acceptable recyclables.
Frozen or Refrigerated food boxes​A box that is designed to spend periods of time in your freezer or fridge most likely contains plastic within the paper fibers, which cannot be properly separated in the recycling process.
Straws​Straws are simply too small for sorting and will contaminate other good recyclables.
Paper Coffee/To-Go Cups​Coffee and to-go cups are lined with plastic polyethylene to keep liquids inside the cup, and are often soiled with liquid, which contributes to contamination.

If you are still unsure about items that can be recycled, look them up on, and remember, when in doubt, throw it out!  

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Green Business Spotlight: Clark College

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