Quick Answers

Q: Why do recycling firms place restrictions on the types of plastics they will accept for recycling, if they accept them at all?

A: The three most common reasons for these restrictions have to do with processing space requirements, regional marketability and liquid residues. Plastics represent the largest challenge for most recycling processors.

Q: Are all plastics considered recyclable?

A-1: The initial application or contents play an important role in whether or not plastics can be considered recyclable. For example: EPA and DOT both restrict the storage and/or transportation of containers that may contain or leak hydrocarbons, hazardous waste or other unknown liquids. This means that those used to contain oils, pesticides, herbicides, other hazardous substances or drip unknown substance considered a threat to life or the environment must be properly disposed of.

A-2: Not all plastics are made from the same material and may go through various heat treatments, pigmentation and resin blending processes during manufacturing.
Though theses plastics may look or feel the same as normal containers, there's no guarantee that they are. Even to the trained eye, the process is like comparing loose piles of sugar and salt or white flour and starch.

Q: What type of plastic containers does Lewis Clark Recyclers accept?

A: #1 through #7 jugs or bottle containers and the top must be smaller than the bottom. These plastic jug or bottles would have contained food condiments, beverages, mild body soaps, shampoos or lotions, laundry detergents, fabric softeners or bleach with dispenser openings less than 2 inches in diameter. These containers must be residue and lid free.
****Please NO containers used to contain oils, grease, fuel, anti-freeze, pesticides, herbicides, acids or other substances considered to be household hazardous materials!!

Q: What other types of plastic does Lewis Clark Recyclers accept?

A: Clear stretch wrap film, clear shipping bags, plastic buckets with handles removed and an assortment of post-industrial/pre-consumer plastic materials. Call us for an interest assessment if you generate large volumes of a specific type of plastic waste.

Q: How much plastic does Lewis Clark Recyclers process for secondary use?

A: Over 680,000 pounds or 340 tons each year.
(Just for reference: it takes 9 one gallon milk jugs or liter bottles to equal a single pound. That's a lot of plastic.)

Q: Has Lewis Clark Recyclers always accepted the same types of plastics?

A: No, Lewis Clark Recyclers changes its standards and practices as the secondary market changes. New standards are established and published by the Institute of Scrap Recycling every two to four years.

Q: What happens to recycled plastic once processed and shipped?

A: The plastics Lewis Clark Recyclers processes are used in a wide range of manufacturing applications. Things like:

- interior automobile components
- Computer and entertainment cabinets
- Play ground equipment and toys
- Plastic bags and packaging
- Kitchen appliances and fixtures
- Carpeting, clothing and tool handles
- Plastic lumber, siding and pipe
- Window frames and tub enclosures
- Outdoor furniture
- Parking stops and roadside markers

(Fun fact: It takes 14 liter bottles to make a single T-shirt.)

Q: Why must you remove and dispose of lids from plastic containers prior to recycling?

A: There are 2 reasons: (1) Lids are usually made from a different type of plastic than the container. Secondary markets prohibit lids in most cases. (2) Lids on a container suggest the likelihood of remnants remaining inside and containers must be empty/clean prior to processing for secondary use. Please remove and discard lids and empty plastic containers prior to recycling them!

Q: Do you have to remove paper or plastic labels or sleeves from your recyclable containers?

A: NO! These are removed during the final cleaning process by the secondary manufacturer.

Q: Where can you recycle plastic bags used for retail merchandise or dry cleaning packaging?

A: Simply return them to the store or laundry service where you got them! The business will appreciate this simple act of recycling.