Threshold Services Inc. will now only accept No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, which are described as bottles and jugs with necks, such as water bottles or milk jugs. The plastic ID number is listed on the bottom of the bottle inside the triangular recycling symbol. Plastic grocery bags will also be accepted.
Executive director Ken Reinke said the change is in response to his Seattle buyers deciding not to pay for mixed plastic bundles that include other plastics like yogurt cups and food containers.
“I usually sell to three buyers,” he said. “Two of them quit taking it (mixed plastic) about a month ago, which meant I could channel it to the third buyer except now they’ve quit taking it. I’m constrained by the monetary aspects of it.”
Reinke said Threshold also loses money when people don’t sort their plastic. He can get a decent price for recycling water bottles and milk jugs separately, but when they’re thrown into the bin with the other plastics, he has to lump it all together into the mixed category.
Before, Threshold received $45 per ton for mixed plastics, which usually covered the cost of shipping. Now if Reinke sends them, he’ll actually be paying to send them to Seattle since shipping isn’t free and he isn’t making anything off of them.
“I didn’t make a stink about it before because at least for $45 a ton I could get it out of here,” Reinke said. “Now we’re losing additional money. The public wants to recycle all types of plastic as do I, but it’s got to make financial sense.”
Threshold receives $341 per ton for No. 1 plastics, the water bottles, $350 per ton for No. 2 natural plastics, the milk jugs, and $260 a ton for No. 2 colored plastics.
All other plastics that are no longer accepted will be taken to the landfill.
Reinke hopes Threshold’s plans for a new drive-through building will make the sorting process easier for people.
The new building will have different stations for plastics, paper and cardboard. People will be able to drive their vehicles through the station and sort their recycling indoors, where they will be protected from weather conditions. Reinke said he also hopes to find volunteers who want to help people sort their items, to make sure only eligible items are being dropped.
Once the new building is up, the booths in front of Threshold on Von Scheele Way that are currently open for drop off 24 hours a day will be removed, and access to the recycling plant will be during set hours.
If all goes to plan, Threshold will unveil the new building in June. Hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at email@example.com.