Our recycling docents are impressed with how many customers are doing recycling “right” here on Orcas—separating glass, and cardboard, and aluminum cans. All of these actions cost the customer less than mixed recycling, and most people see that as a real plus. We still see plastic film being tossed in the mixed recycling bins, but less so than earlier. If you are unsure whether something is recyclable or not, and there is no one around to ask, it is always safe to put it in the trash bin.
A special word about separating glass. We really appreciate how many people set their glass bottles and jars aside to feed our glass crusher. In fact, the response has been excellent. We thought we’d need to operate Big Blue once a week when we purchased it, but we find we crush glass once a day, sometimes twice a day in the summer. That is a lot of weight that does not need to be shipped off the island. Now that we have so much crushed glass—over 150 tons so far—we need to find more uses for it here on Orcas Island. Ask a docent about the Glass Challenge, and look at the poster on the wooden fence. Also, we just completed having geologic testing done on our crushed glass, and it meets WA DOT standards for about 20 uses in place of other aggregate, like sand. We all are doing a good thing, and it can only get better. Thanks!