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Roseburg Disposal plans changes to recycling program

March 21, 2019
Recyclable tin collected in a large bin at Roseburg Disposal in 2018.

Roseburg Disposal will soon stop accepting glass recyclables and start accepting plastic milk jugs and detergent bottles.

The changes to the recycling program are slated to begin March 31.

Roseburg Disposal is the private trash hauler that contracts to provide garbage pickup for people living in the Roseburg area. Its coverage area includes residences in Roseburg city limits, Winchester, Melrose and parts of Dixonville. It does not cover Green.

The recyclables market has become more limited since 2018, with China rejecting most plastic and paper loads coming from America. China had been the primary market for most of America’s recycled plastics and paper, but announced it would stop taking those recyclables because the loads they received were often “dirty” — a term that refers not just to food and other contamination but also to the mixing of non-recyclable items with recyclable ones.

The local company Sunrise Enterprises used to take plastics for recyclables, but stopped taking them June 2018. Douglas County transfer stations and many haulers stopped accepting plastics after that.

Dori John of Roseburg Disposal said her company has not taken plastics since then, but has now found a new broker for it. At the same time, the organization that was taking its glass has stopped. John said the only alternative would be to ship the glass in open containers to a Portland recycler. That works for Portland haulers, but wouldn’t work well for Roseburg Disposal, she said.

Once the changes take effect, the list of items Roseburg Disposal customers will be able to recycle at the curb includes corrugated cardboard (the kind with a wavy center); tin and aluminum cans rinsed out and without lids; used motor oil; and plastic containers with a wide base and narrow spout like milk jugs and detergent bottles.

No other types of plastic will be accepted. Plastic buckets, clamshell takeout containers and plastic bags will still not be accepted for recycling. Jugs and bottles that are recyclable should be thoroughly rinsed, with lids removed and thrown in the trash.

The list of recyclables Roseburg Disposal picks up differs a bit from that accepted at the Douglas County landfill and transfer stations operated by county government. Glass, plastic and corrugated cardboard are not accepted for recycling at the Douglas County landfill or transfer stations.