Five Steps Back: the difficulty in recycling other plastics

This tofu container will last for generations.

This tofu container will last for generations.

For a while, some kindly neighbors arranged supplemental plastics recycling and collected plastics that are not part of the city’s curbside collection. With much relief I began to collect plastic numbered 3, 4, 5, and up. The first Saturday collection arrived and I rose early and walked to a nearby park with a bag of plastics.

I went home and continued to collect plastics and waited for an announcement of the next collection day. After a couple months, I posted a query about the next collection date on a neighborhood environmental discussion board but no one had any information. Sadly our program seems to have died, which threw me into a sad state. Also by that time, I had another kitchen trash bag full of recycling.

Many neighborhood collection programs ended when the city began collecting some plastics. Others stopped when single steam started. A few have continued, however, so the easiest and best way to find that source may be to ask around your neighborhood. Isn’t that a good way to meet your neighbors?

Weavers Way Coop also hosts “Gimme 5!” a plastics recycling program that accepts clean and dry number 5 plastics. Deliver them to 610 Carpenter Lane (next to the pet store) from 10am to 1pm on the Saturday, April 18, May 16, and June 10. A small donation is requested with each drop-off of recyclables. Read more about the program on page 5 of the Shuttle, the Weavers Way Newsletter.

Preserve announced a program to recycle plastic number 5 with Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farms, and Organic Valley. However the Philadelphia and Wynnewood Whole Foods do not participate. The Jenkintown Whole Foods has a special collection planned for Earth Day on April 22, 2009. Recyclables must be clean, dry, and marked 1 through 7. Drop-off time is from 8 AM to 9 PM.

Most plastics recycling programs require the removal of lids. Lids and containers are not usually made from the same type of plastic. The Aveda salon in Manayunk accept plastic lids. They must be clean.

I still have that garbage bag of plastics, which the city won’t accept. I hope to travel to Weaver’s Way soon. The only other option is to throw them in the trash, where they will remain for a few thousand years.

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