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Does Barbie Go in the Recycling Bin?

OPB | June 19, 2013 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:59 a.m.

Amanda Troxler/OPB

Quick test: Is your single-use coffee cup recyclable? If you answered no, you can have a recycling gold star. If you said yes, well you can at least take heart that you’re not alone. Cassandra Profita, OPB’s Ecotrope blogger, toured Far West Fibers’ recycling facility and watched as workers pulled all sorts of non-recyclables from the piles of recycling coming from metro-area homes.

Some items were obvious no-goes for the recycling bins, including diapers. But others were simply confusing, like coffee cups or pet food bags improperly emblazoned with recycling symbols. In all, 2.5 percent of the material at Far West Fibers ends up in landfills.

Did you know that straws, plastic bags and coffee cups can’t be recycled curbside in most places? Is recycling getting easier or harder for you? What questions do you have about recycling?


  • Cassandra Profita: OPB’s Ecotrope blogger


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