For those looking to clean out closets or keep durable plastics out of landfills, the UO will be hosting a plastics drive on the next two Saturdays, April 30 and May 21.

A variety of plastic bottles, jars and lids will be accepted and collected for recycling. The OU Office of Sustainability worked with Lane County Waste Management to coordinate community events.

A few years ago, Lane County stopped collecting recyclable plastics from curbside bins, but the local transfer station still accepts some clean, dry plastics on site. UO Plastics Collection simplifies the process by easily collecting plastics near campus and delivering them to the Glenwood Waste Center. From there, the plastics are sent to the Denton Plastics recycling center in Portland.

The process is simple: first, make an appointment to drop off the recyclable plastics. Appointments last 10 minutes and are available from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Slots fill up quickly.

Next, sift through the plastics to be recycled and look for the number identifying the type of plastic. The drop-off event accepts #2, #4, and #5 plastic bottles, jars, and lids as well as #2 plastic jugs.

Plastics should also be free of labels and adhesives. Soak sticky spots and stubborn labels in cooking oil for a few hours, then easily scrape them off and wash with soap and water. Make sure that at the time of the appointment, the plastics are completely free of food and residue. They must also be dry.

Finally, sort the clean, dry plastics into four categories: #2 bottles and jugs, #2 jars and lids, #4 plastics, and #5 plastics. runs smoothly and quickly. Details of the deposit protocol will be provided when registering for an appointment.

Cameron Tolbert-Scott, UO’s junior sustainability manager and student, a master recycler who will attend drop-offs, said if plastics aren’t sorted or cleaned properly, someone will offer advice on how to improve recycling skills next time.

“We can’t accept leftover paper or sticky adhesive on plastic,” she said. “When plastics melt, they need to be as pure as possible. We need to be as particular as possible for the recycling process to actually work.

Anyone with questions about recycling in general or the plastics event can contact the Office for Sustainability’s Recycling Information Line at 541-999-7173. People can also keep up to date with events and initiatives from the Office of Sustainable Development by subscribing to its newsletter or by visiting its Instagram or Twitter pages at @sustainable_uo.

By Lauren Church, Clark Honors College

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