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.

clark county logo

Contact Details

Call us
(360) 397-2121 x4352

Green Blog

News about our community as it relates to the environment

RESILIENT RECYCLER: Which material is the phoenix of recycling?

RESILIENT RECYCLER: Which material is the phoenix of recycling?

Not all materials are recycled the same and not all materials can be recycled indefinitely. Follow our series as we explore how many times different materials can be recycled and search for the phoenix of recycling  

Part 2: Paper - 5 to 7 lives

Each time paper is recycled, the fibers get smaller and smaller. Paper molding like egg cartons are the last reincarnation of paper, but these short fibers make them great for composting!

A lot of paper is downcycled into products like newspapers, tissues, and toilet paper. Nevertheless, it is better to recycle paper fiber this way than to harvest new trees for the same purpose.

It takes a lot of water to make paper, whether from virgin wood or recycled fibers. Some of the paper fibers end up washing out in the effluent rather than making it to the final product. Recently in Clark County, we are recycling more of our paper at US companies that must abide by environmental protection laws. These companies only want high quality material without contaminants food residues or moisture, so it's important that you help by recycling right! 

  • Wet, oily, or soiled paper and cardboard degrades the quality of the output material, so always throw away or compost damp or soiled paper. 
  • Mixed materials such as frozen food boxes that have aluminum linings or plastic infused in the paperboard cannot be broken down during the pulping process. 
  • Any packaging that is meant to store food in the freezer or fridge has this "wet-strength" treatment and is not a preferred material for recyclers.

In Clark County, you can recycle drink and soup cartons in your curbside because they are sorted out of the rest of the paper and sent to facilities equipped with a special hydropulper to separate the paper fiber from the plastic and aluminum layers. The Carton Council has had a significant impact towards promoting collection and market demand for carton recycling.  

Reduce Waste and Keep Recycling!

Even if a product isn't reincarnated into its original form, recycling extends the lifespan of these materials, and lessens the negative impacts on the earth by reducing the need for raw resources. The most significant change you can make is to reduce your waste, use reusable options, and make consumer choices with the lifecycle of the product and its packaging in mind. 

RESILIENT RECYCLER: Which material is the phoenix ...
Medication Manufacturers to Pay for Safe Disposal ...