Recycle+ FAQs

Key points

  • This is a new service. We appreciate your patience and feedback as we make improvements.
  • We encourage you to sign up for reminders so you never miss a pick up. Visit WashingtonCountyRecycles.com/GRD, and type in your address. Choose from calendar reminders, calls, email, text and more. Or while you’re there, download the app.
  • Washington County provides service updates for Recycle+ customers. Sign up to:
    • Learn about special reuse drives that will be scheduled throughout the year.
    • Share feedback and help shape future service improvements.
    • Get helpful reminders about best practices that will help make this service successful.
    • Hear about program successes and the positive impact of your participation in Recycle+.

Can I add your email to the list? You can opt out any time, and announcements only go out about six times a year.

Yes: Use link below to add an email address (required), first and last name (optional).
No: I can share a link if you’d like to consider this later:

https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/9flhhSt/RecyclePlusUpdates

FAQs

Why am I being charged a monthly fee, even if I don't request a pick up?

This is an optional service, and only a fraction of community members will sign up. The base monthly fee covers the ongoing time and cost associated with the program regardless of pick ups. This includes things like customer communication, managing the sign-up process, the cost of the bins, etc.
The separate pick-up charge covers costs associated with collecting your materials each time: this labor, fuel, processing fees, etc.

I live in an apartment. Why can’t I receive service?

Recycle+ will be available to you starting July 2023. We appreciate your patience while we get this new service underway. Visit our website for updates: WashingtonCountyRecycles.com/Recycle+

I haven't been able to request service from my hauler.

Customers can sign up starting May 1st. (After May 1st: Let me take your name, phone number and address. I'll call your hauler and have them sign you up. They’ll reach out to you with confirmation once they have you in the system.)

I requested service but haven’t heard/received anything.

Customers can sign up starting May 1st. (After May 1st: Let me take your name, phone number and address. I'll call your hauler and ask that they provide you confirmation that you’re signed up.

Why can’t I put Recycle+ items in my regular recycle bin?

It’s important for the items accepted in your standard recycling cart to stay consistent. The sorting equipment that separates everything is finely tuned for these items alone so that they don’t end up in the wrong place as contamination. Also, these items have many stable end markets. This means we can be confident they’ll be recycled. (In Oregon, it’s actually illegal for items collected as recycling to be thrown away.) Approximately 42,000,000 lbs of these recyclable materials are collected by certificated haulers per year!

Additional items, like those collected by Recycle+, have few markets, and can’t be separated from the mixed recycling. Depots have been a way to collect these materials separately, and now Recycle+ offers a convenient way to have them collected at home. We will stay in close communication with our Recycle+ customers, in the event that markets change.

This may be changing in the next 3-5 years. The state of Oregon is working to make recycling easier. The Recycling Modernization Act will expand access to recycling services and upgrade the facilities that sort recyclables.

Why isn’t my Recycle+ collection on my regular collection day?

Some collection companies require a separate truck to pick up these materials. Because not all customers participate in Recycle+ service, it’s environmentally and economically more efficient to run one route and collect everyone’s materials together.

The cost of Recycle+ is too high

Depots are a free option for recycling these materials. Use https://www.co.washington.or.us/hhs/swr/what-to-recycle.cfm to find a location near you. Customers are also welcome to share the service with a neighbor, friend or family member.

I’m a Recycle+ customer. Why can’t I use my own plastic bags to separate materials in the bin?

It’s crucial to the success of the program that materials be free of contamination when they’re sent to their end markets. The bags need to be transparent so that your driver can quickly see if there’s any contamination in the materials they’re collecting. Common household bags reused by customers are opaque. They’re also often smaller in size, which may prevent items from being fully contained and protected from the elements once collected.

Why plastic bags?

The plastic bags will keep materials dry, which is important for ensuring these times can be recycled once they reach their end market. The bags will be recycled once emptied.
The better we can properly manage our plastics locally, the less likely they are to up in the waterways. Thank you for signing up for Recycle+ and following the service guidelines to ensure these materials are responsibly managed.