Trash Talk

Recycling Refresher

by Alissa Oliverson (SWAC Chair) January 2022

Trash Talk series from Sustainable Klamath, Solid Waste Action Committee (SWAC)

Recycling is a complicated industry, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to understand how to do it in your home. Here in the Basin we can use Waste Management’s infographic and a few tips to keep us on track.

To Dispose of Your Living Christmas Tree

  1. Compost it 
  2. Check out DIY options for using it in craft and garden projects 
  3. Chop it up into 3ft x 3ft pieces and put it with your Waste Management trash bin (or on the curb) 
  4. Take it to the landfill

Bottle Drop vs Glass Recycling

Remember that all glass bottles with the 10¢ redemption label go to Bottle Drop. Other glass, like wine bottles and pickle jars go to the landfill or Waste Management. Remove the caps and lids and put them in the trash.

Old Bikes and Mattresses

Klamath Works has recycling programs for bicycles and mattresses. You can contact Klamath Works at (541) 887-8495. Their campus is located at 1930 South 6th Street in Klamath Falls.

Rinse Recyclables

Recyclable plastic items have a mouth smaller than the base of the container, like milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles. These items should be rinsed/soaked. You don’t have to scrub them squeaky clean, but they should be clean enough so they don’t contaminate other recyclables, like paper. If you have an extra moment, remove the label from metal cans too.

No Bags

Place clean, dry recyclables directly in your recycle bin. Plastic bags complicate and pollute the recycling process. Leave recyclables loose.

No Frozen Food Boxes

They might look like recyclable cardboard, but frozen food boxes are coated in wax or plastic and sometimes contain non-recyclable “cooking surface” materials. Leave frozen food boxes out of your recycling and put them in the trash.

Knowing what to put in the trash and what to recycle can be a complicated thing. And we’re in for even more changes as Oregon enacts our Recycling Modernization Act (SB 582 passed, signed 2021; effective January 2022). But if we stay focused and flexible, we’ll seize a great opportunity to make changes that we can build on as we continue to learn how to live sustainably. When you’ve already done your best to reduce and reuse, do your best to recycle right.

For a list of alternative drop-off locations for other recyclable materials and more information about supporting sustainability in the Basin, to volunteer or donate, please visit: