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Pierce County Residents Can Now Recycle Plastic Jars, Tubs and Buckets

New rules apply to all county residents except those in Tacoma, Ruston and Joint Base Lewis-McChord; it is first major change since 2005.

Editor's note: This information comes from a news release from Pierce County.

Pierce County residents can now recycle additional plastic items. Plastic jars, tubs and buckets can be added to curbside recycling carts. Examples include yogurt and sour-cream containers, plastic salsa jars, and kitty-litter buckets. This change applies to residents that are part of Pierce County’s solid-waste management system, which includes all of Pierce County except for Tacoma, Ruston and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“Recycling diverts waste from our landfill, is good for the environment, and reclaims valuable materials for reuse,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We listened when our residents told us they wanted more recycling options during last year’s recycling survey.

"This addition gives them new options to recycle material that will be made into new products.”

Residents should look at a plastic item’s shape to determine if it can be recycled. Acceptable shapes include bottles with a neck that is smaller than the body, and rigid jars, tubs and buckets.

Not all plastics are accepted in Pierce County’s curbside recycling program, such as plastic bags and wrap, crinkly and lightweight plastic, and lids.

“We take great care in considering which items to accept in our program, because we want them to have the best chance of being recycled into new products,” said Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Director Brian Ziegler.

This is Pierce County’s first major change since it switched to commingled carts in 2005.

Pierce County’s curbside recycling program accepts a variety of items, including paper and cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, milk jugs and plastic plant pots. A list of accepted recyclables, including the new plastic items, is available at www.piercecountywa.org/recycle. The latest edition of the Earth Matters newsletter, which was mailed to homes last week, also includes a list of accepted recyclables.

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