Recyclable or Not: Frozen Food Packaging

Our docents are periodically seeing frozen food shipment packing materials in the mixed recycling bins – these items do not belong there. The two most common brand names are “Renew Fiber” and “ClimaCell“.  Each product has printed statements that it is recyclable and displays the “chasing arrows” with a #1 inside.

This marketing leads users to believe they are doing the right thing by putting these materials in mixed recycling, however, it’s not always the correct choice. Renew Fiber does not get a good review as to recyclability so we need to have customers put it into the trash bin, regardless of the #1 indication. ClimaCell is recognized as recyclable, but its acceptability is dependent on the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that handles it. We currently send our mixed recycling to Recology in south Seattle, and they are not able to process it, so it goes into trash and eventually the landfill.

So, until things change, we ask our customers to put this shipping/packing product into trash. We will let you know when the situation changes and we can start processing it as a mixed recycling item.