Instructions for Using the New Plastic Collection Shed at MD Nursery
Teton Valley Community Recycling (TVCR) has been collecting clear, stretchy plastic (aka plastic film) for the past 3 years in our pilot program “Bags to Benches” exploring the viability of collecting clean plastic film waste to recycle into Trex decking material and benches.
The program has been very successful thus far, resulting in more than 6 benches being installed throughout Teton Valley, and now the time has come to grow the program to a County recycled commodity. In partnership with TVCR, RAD Curbside recently began collecting business plastic waste from a handful of early adopters who agreed to help work out the kinks of collection from businesses. Teton County Transfer Station recycling staff will be baling, storing and selling the plastic. MD Nursery has offered a year-round collection location for clean post-consumer stretchy plastic in a shed provided by Grow Huts and funded through Silver Star’s Caring for the Community Grant.
So how does this new Plastic Collection Shed work, and how is it different from Bags to Benches? First off, the plastic film will still be going to the same domestic end destination, Trex Inc. who makes decking and building material from reclaimed plastic. The main differences are 1) collection location and procedure are slightly different than what you’ve been doing and 2) rather than receiving benches, the County will sell the bales for a modest profit. However, the end result is that less single use plastic will be going directly to the landfill and will have a longer life as building material. While we’d ideally love to see much less of this disposable plastic in existence in the first place, this is a stopgap measure for the inevitable plastic packaging you may have.
Collection has changed:
1) Location is now behind the main greenhouse at MD Nursery (2389 ID-33, Driggs, ID) during MD open hours Mon-Sat 8am-6pm.
2) Plastic items must be separated at the shed and placed in the correct bin (shown below)
3) If you are a local business owner with recyclable plastic material, please do not bring it to the shed. Contact TVCR directly for more information on how to recycle your business’s waste. This program is for community use only.
We can collect the following plastics. All plastic must be clean, dry, and properly sorted.
Grocery Bags, Bread Bags, and Case Overwrap
– inside out and empty/free of crumbs
Bubble Wrap and Air Pillows
no styrofoam, foam sheets, or packing peanuts.
Plastic Shipping Envelopes
be sure to blot out your address for your security
Miscellaneous Plastic Film (must be clean, dry, & free of all debris)
Dry cleaning bags
Wood pellet bags
Ice bags (dry and remove metal clip)
And Nothing Else! Please do not “wish cycle” if you do not see your item on the list. Take it home and put it in the trash.
If in doubt, please text us a photo with your question to the TVCR Recycle Textline (208) 557-1193
Plastic film will be brought to the County Recycling Center/Transfer Station weekly by TVCR Staff. Please help us keep this recycling area tidy and rodent free by only bringing clean and dry items with no food residue. Please do not wish-cycle. Help us help you to reduce plastic waste.
And as you realize the massive quantities of single use plastic passing through your life, please consider adopting the following waste reducing practices which do far more good than recycling your waste.
Bring Your Own – BYO shopping bags, to-go containers, coffee cups, etc. Try to always have compact reusable bags and containers handy so you never need disposable packaging to carry your groceries, beverage, or leftovers.
Buy in Bulk in your own containers – from yard products at MD Nursery to pantry staples, soaps, cleaners at Broulims and Barrels & Bins, there are so many items you can purchase in your own reusable container and eliminate wasteful plastic.
Choose non-plastic packaging whenever possible. There’s no question that we have a plastic waste crisis on our hands. All other available packaging material is not only easier to recycle/reuse, it also is far less toxic for your family and for the planet. Go for glass, metal, or paper/cardboard packaging whenever possible.
Buy Second Hand or Borrow. Used items almost always come without the plastic packaging and are significantly less expensive for you and the planet. Additionally, our local thrift stores support great causes like community theater and animal rescue organizations! Our local libraries have books, tools, toys, and so much more for you, free!
Re-Think! Which plastics are you bringing to the plastic recycling? Why so much? How can you change your habits so that you are consuming less of that plastic? Waste audits are such a useful way to make positive changes in reducing your carbon footprint.
Thanks so much for adapting with our program as it grows. As always, we’re always happy to answer your recycling and waste reduction questions. Reach out to us by text at 208-557-1193 or email email@example.com. We’re here to help Teton County Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!