The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Recycling is a Happening in Wahkiakum County


October 20, 2016

Ron Wright

Mrs. Wilson's 2nd/3rd grade class prepares to harvest lettuce in the school garden.

Our county recycling bins have been repainted, our recycling website is operational, we have several businesses recycling items that cannot go into our county bins, the school district is recycling in all grades, the recycling education program returns to school this week, and we need your help to get it right.

The Wahkiakum 4H Robotics club volunteers, The Healthy Living Cooperative volunteers and Wahkiakum County teamed up to complete the bin painting, and adding new signage to each site. While cleaning and painting the bins we heard from several patrons asking about what is OK to recycle. The new signage covers this, and the website has even more detail. It is very clear that most everyone wants to recycle, but there are a few folks who mess it up for the rest of us. Some of the more common concerns: plastic bags of any kind in any bin are not OK, styrofoam is not OK, glass is not OK, cardboard or paper with food residue is not OK.

One patron suggested that we title an article "Recycling begins at Home" because when materials are separated at home, as they are used, it is much quicker to drop them off into the bins, and it is the easiest way to involve the entire family in taking care of our environment. Another patron was angry that others had placed plastic bags of cans into the bin rather than emptying them into the bin. Another patron pointed out the nicely washed and de-labeled six-pack of glass bottles that had been carefully placed on top of materials in the plastics bin--asking: "don't people care?" And another patron pointed out (accurately) that the bin signage before now had only said "plastics" and thus everyone had thought any plastic was OK - it wasn't - and we were thanked for correcting the signage.

Recycling has been an ongoing activity in Wahkiakum School district. While we normally don't think of it as recycling, composting and organic gardening are a natural form of recycling. The demonstration garden and composting bins at the elementary school have been going for several years thanks to volunteers Kim Sharp, Suzie Whalen, Sheila Mace and Robin Westphal. Their education program involves all of the kids in the elementary school. Come visit to learn how to get involved with this joy-filled activity.

The annual education campaign returns this week to the elementary school as students from 5th grade classes and from Wahkiakum 4-H robotics visit each classroom to hand out recycling flyers and talk about recycling. If your child did not bring a flyer home you can pick one up from the school or from the 4-H office, or, you can download one from the recycling website.

Website: From the website, in addition to our county bins, local organizations that recycle other materials are:

Wahkiakum PUD, Cathlamet–Customers can recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs during office hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Stanley Sanitation, Cathlamet–Recycle televisions, computer towers, monitors, laptops, tablets/ereaders, and portable DVD players. It is free to drop them off, by appointment, at 20 Hedlund Rd., Puget Island. Call to make an appointment at 360-795-3369.

Wahkiakum County Lions, Cathlamet – Recycle newspapers in the big yellow bins at the county bin site at Wahkiakum HS and at the Puget Island Fire Hall.

NAPA Auto Parts (Moore Auto & Marine), Cathlamet – Recycle auto batteries, drop off when open, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8: a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Chevron Gas Station, Cathlamet–Recycle waste oil and antifreeze, anytime, in the bins on the east edge of the Southwest Concrete parking lot.


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