I talk about dealing with trash and recycling in Get Your Pitchfork On!—at our place in Washington, there was (in my mind, at least) an epic battle between Kristy the Female versus the reigning King of Sh*t Mountain. We took our waste to a “transfer station,” so-named because it was en route to other locations, including a landfill located in nearby Roosevelt. This landfill also took in garbage from Hawai`i, which subsidized our fee.
In Wallowa County, recycling happens in town and trash goes straight to the landfill, which is about six miles out of Enterprise. As the oft-mentioned-in-this-blog Jon Rombach noted in November, you never know what you might find there.
In the local newspaper, the Wallowa County Chieftain, Rick Bombaci investigated what actually happens to the recycling. At the transfer station, it’s sorted a hundred ways ‘til Sunday via a bunch of small doors—where does it end up?
His research was eye-opening! Some things are reused locally: Glass ends up crushed and mixed with gravel for the county’s roadbeds; motor oil is burned in the furnace of the road department’s office. Paper, on the other hand, is shipped to China. Not cardboard, just paper. I was glad to see that electronic waste is not shipped to China, as their processing of it is well documented and not pretty. It’s processed in Vancouver, Washington.
Do you know where your trash and recycling go?