Q: What is a resin code?
A: It is a marking on many plastic containers that is a "chasing arrow” triangle with a digit inside. It indicates what kind of plastic the item is manufactured from. This code does NOT indicate whether or not the item is recyclable in your local mixed recycling cart. At PlanetCon, resin codes of type #2, #4, #5, #6 are accepted.
Q: What types of plastic are accepted in residential mixed recycling carts in the Portland metro area?
A: The guideline for plastic recyclability is only SHAPE and SIZE. Acceptable shapes are a bottle, jar, jug or tub. Acceptable sizes are from 6 oz. up to 5 gal.
Q: Do I really have to remove adhesive labels from the plastic items that I bring to PlanetCon?
A: Yes, you do! The recycling company we partner with for this event will not accept plastics with labels or paper/metal inserts. Go ahead and use your “at home mixed recycling” bin for plastic bottles, buckets, tubs and jugs between 6 oz and 5 gal in size No need to remove labels for the “at home, mixed recycling program” materials because the plastics processor that these materials are sent to can handle labels.
--You can then bring the plastic containers that are not accepted in the “at home mixed recycling program” to the PlanetCon event, but they must have resin code #2, #4, #5 or #6 and be free of labels and paper/metal inserts.
Q: It's not easy to remove labels from some containers. What's a good way to do this?
A: One method is to fill the container with hot water and let it soak for several minutes. Then gently peel off the label. Leave the heated water inside and scrub any remaining adhesive with an equal mixture of baking soda and cooking oil. Then dump out the water, rinse the container well and let it dry. If the item with a label is not a container, try using a blow dryer on the label before trying to peel it off.
Q: Do I have to remove any inserts from inside the threaded plastic caps?
A: Please do, if you can. The inserts are usually easy to remove with a table knife or screwdriver.
Q: Should I start collecting for my neighbors and bundle my trip?
A. Residents are encouraged to collect materials from neighbors, friends and family in an effort to reduce trip miles and traffic flow on day of event.
Q: What if I’m unable to attend or can’t make this event? Will there be future events?
A: If you’re unable to attend, collect and send materials with a neighbor, friend or family member. If this event is successful and materials we receive are prepared correctly, we hope to have more collection events.
Q: I can't find a resin code on my threaded caps. Can I bring them anyway?
A: Yes. Most threaded caps are very small and many do not have a resin code. However there must be a resin code #2, #4, #5, #6 on any plastic containers or tub lids or we can't accept them.
Q: Where do I find the resin code ?
A: It is usually on the bottom of the plastic item, but it can be very small and hard to find and read. It's a good idea to sort your plastics in a well lit room, and have a magnifying glass or reading glasses to help find and read the code. An extra light source like a flashlight may even be helpful.
Q: I don't always see a chasing arrow triangle, but I see abbreviations such as PS-6. Is this OK to bring?
A: Smaller items may not have the chasing arrow triangle. Some plastics might only have the number. And some might only use abbreviations. Common resin code abbreviations that are OK to bring to PlanetCon include HDPE-2 (or PE-HD), LDPE-4 (or PE-LD), PP-5, PS-6.
Q: Why do I have to separate the plastic by type: #2, #4, #5, #6, and threaded caps?
A: The different types of plastics melt at different temperatures, so they are recycled separately. The recycling company we are partnering with does not have sorting capabilities.
Q: What can I do to help make plastic recycling easier?
A: A good strategy is prevention. Try to reduce your use of plastics and disposable items.
Q: I have other items to recycle. How do I find out where they go?
A: See the Washington County “What to Recycle and Where” online tool or download the app to your smart phone or tablet.
Q: I have additional questions that were not answered here, where can I find more information?
A: Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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