Recycling options in Yakima continue to disappear as cost outweighs reward


Recycling options in Yakima continue to disappear as cost outweighs reward.

YAKIMA, Wash.- It’s a weekly tradition for many people.

Gathering the aluminum, plastic and cardboard to dump at your local recycling center.

But it’s going to get difficult to continue that tradition with Central Washington Recycling no longer accepting anything but newspapers and cardboard.

Dropping aluminum, tin and any kind of plastic.

Karen Brown makes the trip down to dump off her plastic bottles at least once a month and said Yakima seems to be running out of recycling options.

“Very limited. Years ago, there used to be drop boxes all over town that people could use for recycling,” she said.

And that might be because it just not worth anything more.

At least for those who process the material.

China doesn’t want our trash and local companies are barely breaking even with all they collect.

Keith Kovalenko with Yakima Waste Systems said they’ll get around $130 for a ton of recyclables, but it’ll cost around the same amount to process it.

“We’re still doing it and we’re going to continue to do it, but we’re hoping the markets turn around in the next year or two,” he said.

Plus, they could end up losing money if items that aren’t supposed to be recycled end up mixed in.

Items like butter tubs or yogurt cups aren’t worth anything and they contaminate everything else.

“That’s going to devalue your material and they’re going to charge you more to process your material, if you have dirty material,” he said.

So, the small list of places you can take your recycling is getting even smaller.

But Brown says she hopes the city as a whole, finds a way to add more option in the future rather than taking them away.

“I want to clean up. I’m tired of looking at garbage,” she said.

There are still other places you can go for recycling in the area depending on the material you are trying to get rid of:

Pacific Steel: Aluminum and Tin

DLC Recycling: Aluminum and other metals

Union Gospel Mission: Aluminum, tin and cardboard

Terrace Heights Landfill: Cardboard, mixed paper and tin cans

Yakima Waste: Curbside pick up

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