Glossary of Terms

A guide to help you understand the terms and lingo used at ORS/The Exchange.

Aluminum Soda and beer cans only

Big Blue

Name for our glass crusher


Corrugated cardboard that Is flattened, clean and dry

Categories 1-7 Plastic

Industry standards dictate whether a plastic item is #1, #2, or other # up to 7. #1,#2 should go in co-mingled recycling; all else in trash

Co-mingled/Mixed Recyclables

Items that get recycled by an off-island agency at cost

Compost, Raw

Raw materials for composting (eg. what is put in home compost bucket)

Compost, Working

In the active process of composting (e.g. anaerobic & vermicomposting)

Compost, Curing

After the initial process for aerobic and anaerobic, but before its finished

Compost, Finished

Having completed the process and ready for use


Volunteer who works periodically at the Z-wall explaining correct recycling operations at ORS

The Exchange

The retail outlet of recycled goods on Orcas Island


Great Islands Clean-up sponsored by SJ County in the Spring & Fall

Glass Recycling

Bottles, jugs and window glass (not safety glass) 

Glass Sand

Descriptive term used for the fineness of our ground glass


Household Hazardous Waste


Mixed Solid Waste, or Trash


Orcas Island Transfer Station


Orcas Recycling Services

Separated Recyclables

Items currently separated by customer before drop-off

Tipping Floor

Where bulk MSW is dropped off for loading into 40-foot trailers for transport off-island to the landfill at Roosevelt, WA