WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla City Council has approved a recommendation to end plastic recycling. The unanimous vote was in approval of an ad hoc committee studying recycling in the city. The proposal still needs to be approved by the Solid Waste Advisory Committee and the Washington Department of Ecology.
The move is part of a plan to ultimately correct misuse of the recycling program. It will be accompanied with an education campaign to teach Walla Walla residents about how unacceptable plastics drive up costs because those items contaminate others.
Once the information campaign is complete, it is planned that recycling acceptable plastics would review, and the contamination levels will be sampled. The city only accepts plastics bearing numbers 1 or 2. As much as 20 percent of the plastics put into recycle bins are not acceptable. The cost of recycling has risen steadily since China refused to accept recyclable materials from the United States. If approvals are granted, the change could begin late this year. At that point, Walla Walla would only accept aluminum, cardboard, paper and tin for recycling.