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Local Plastic Recycling Begins

Local Plastic Recycling Begins image
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YPSILANTI- Área residente can now recycle plastic. The Ypsilanti Recycling Project (YRP) in February began accepting two types of plastic bottles for recycling. "We are pleased to remove these high volume items from the municipal waste stream," said YRP coördinator Pete Murdock. "Recycling plastic should help the local municipalities reduce dispoal costs and conserve landfiU space." The Ypsilanti Recycling Drop-off Center accepts two types of plastic bottles: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET). HDPE and PET bottles make up 70% to 90% of the plastic bottles in the marketplace. YRP recent] y doubled its site size and created a "drive-through" access to accommodate the larger volume of materials coming into its Drop-off Center. Murdock said in addition to Ypsilanti residents, Ann Arborites are using YRP's services because Recycle Ann Arbor does not yet recycle plastic. YRP collects the plastic bottles and stores them on site in huge bags holding about 70 pounds each. The plastic will be sold at 6L per pound to CleanTech in Dundee and will eventually end up as the inner ply of the three-ply bottles Plasti-Pak makes for Proctor and Gamble. (About seven one-gallon milk jjjgs make up one pound.) It is important, said Murdock, to be able to identify and separate HDPE and PET bottles as plastic recycling is very sensitive to mixing. HDPE containers are never clear. They are either opaque or colored with a dull surface finish and will íloat in water. Opaque HDPE containers include gallon and half -gallon milk, distilled water, spring water, orange juice and eider jugs. Colored HDPE containers include liquid laundry, bleach and dishwashing detergent bottles, skin lotion, and bubble bath bottles. They also include motor oil, and transmission fluid bottles, but YRP cannot accept these as they are too hard to wash out thoroughly. PET containers are clear and sink in water. Most PET bottles are clear or green-tinted. Products packaged in PET bottles include soda pop, peanut butter, salad dressing, mouthwash and dish soap. The plastic industry has come up with seven numbers for identifying the different plastic types, said Murdock. PET containers are number "1." HDPE containers are number "2." Many containers already have the numbers on them. But all of the numbers will be in place by 1991 . To prepare your HDPE or PET container for recycling: rinse it thoroughly, discard the cap and ring, and flatten. It's okay to leave labels on. YRP will only accept bottles that are free of food or other residan, so wash them out well. The Ypsilanti Recycling Drop-of f Center is located at 651 Rice Street between E. Cross and E. Forest. It is open from 2 pm to dusk on Wednesdays and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays. For more information cali Pete at 485-7799.