Resilient Recycler: What “Wood” You Do?
It might seem intuitive that wood should be included with your mixed recyclables along with paper and cardboard because – well – they are all derived from trees. However, putting wood in Big Blue with your mixed recycling harms the entire recycling system and here is why:
The paper materials we include in our recycling carts have been manufactured from wood pulp and paper pulp, which utilizes wood that has already been broken down into very small fibers. Due to this difference, wood and paper cannot be recycled in the same manner. Additionally, sorting facilities don't have mechanisms that separate wood from other recyclables, which leads to the damage and contamination of good recycling. Whole pieces of wood are also responsible for damage to machinery and can cause injury to workers on the sorting line, which is very dangerous and slows down the sorting process. Wood has been listed as a top contaminant here in Clark County.
So does this mean you shouldn't recycle wood? No way!
Wood is a valuable recyclable resource, but how can we recycle it properly?
Well, for some small items such as wooden chopsticks and pencils, we suggest avoiding them altogether. Use products that are reusable, like your own metal chopsticks or mechanical pencils which can be refilled and used indefinitely. If you just can't seem to avoid these products see if you can find another use for them, such as an art project. If you still can't figure out what to do with these items remember; it is better to throw them in the garbage than to contaminate good recyclables.
If it is wood furniture you are trying to get rid of, try to donate it to a local shelter, community warehouse, or thrift shop. A list of local locations to take your old furniture can be found by clicking here and searching "furniture".
For larger wood items or debris left over from construction work and projects, take them to your local wood recycling collectors to be made into secondary products! Wood cannot be pressure-treated, painted, or stained. Call for the current rates for wood drop-off.
Here is a list of locations that accept wood recycling here in Clark County:
West Van Materials Recovery Center – accepts clean wood and wood pallets
Central Transfer & Recycling Center -- accepts clean wood & wood pallets
H&H Wood Recyclers – accepts clean wood & wood pallets
Triangle Resources – accepts source-separated treated wood and wood pallets. Does not accept: creosote treated wood.
Recology Portland – accepts clean wood, demolition wood, and land clearing debris
*Always call ahead to confirm which items are accepted*
Download the RecycleRight app at RecyclingA-Z.com for on-the-go info at your fingertips!