The go-to place for recycling everything that nobody else would take has closed its doors, here

RITA A. LEONARD - Far West Recycling has already closed its two recycling stations accessible to Inner Southeast. This one was in the industrial part of the Reed neighborhood, on S.E. 26th Avenue, just south of Holgate. Monday, September 24th, was the last day of service at two public recycling stations accessible to Southeast Portland.

The Far West depot located most recently at 4930 S.E. 26th Avenue (it moved there when MAX light rail construction forced the closure of their S.E. 17th Avenue property), together with one in Lake Oswego, served the community for many years – taking in plastics that were not accepted by Metro, including Styrofoam and plastic bags, as well as metals and electronics.

China, which formerly purchased many recyclables from America, has stopped accepting them, due to what it said were high levels of contaminants in the shipments.

Far West Recycling, formerly known as Far West Fibers, posted a closing notice that read, in part, "With higher operational costs, freight rate increases, low commodity prices, and high contamination levels, we are faced with a very difficult decision. Effective 9-24-18 we will be closing both our Lake Oswego and Southeast depots."

Contaminants overtaxed the sorting process, causing system delays and reduced profits, they said. Homeowners should carefully read guidelines for recycling provided by Metro (503/234-3000) to help curb contaminants in recycling.

There is much confusion about what is truly recyclable. Lani Kali, Director of the Moreland Farmers Market, reports they tried to get a speaker from Metro to clarify this, but since requests for speakers are so heavy, they haven't yet succeeded.

Keep an eye out for neighborhood cleanup days, such as the recent Creston-Kenilworth event October 6, which accepted "tires under 21 inches, and recyclables such as metal, plastics #1 thru 7, bulky rigid plastics, small appliances, and lidless paint cans with dried paint."

Longtime recycler Julie Wallace, owner of Wallace Books in Westmoreland, revealed she would continue accepting used household batteries, which she recycles once a month in Oregon City. Although she used to recycle Styrofoam, she no longer does. "The only place in Oregon that I know of that still recycles Styrofoam is Agilyx Corp, 7904 S.W. Hunziker Road in Tigard," she says. "They're open 24/7." You can reach them at 503/217-3160. UPS Stores often accept Syrofoam "peanuts" if they are clean, and not mixed with debris.

With the loss of the Far West service, consider creative new ways to recycle. Extra pet food can go to the Humane Society. Plastic bags are accepted for recycling by many supermarkets, and can be used for "dog poo bags" when you walk your pet, but take the bags home afterwards and put them in the garbage, instead of leaving them on the ground! Florists may use old newspapers (ask first) – and of course newspapers are still recyclable at the curb. Free Geek, at 1731 S.E. 10th Avenue, accepts old computer equipment and electronics for reuse. You can reach them at 503/232-9350.

Goodwill accepts usable castoffs such as furniture, clothing, housewares, toys, and intact operating electronics. "SCRAP PDX" at 1736 S.W. Alder, downtown – a recycling craft store – accepts fabric, yarn, seashells, ribbons, old mirrors, picture frames, etc. Call them at 503/294-0769.

During cool weather, shelters and churches may take blankets, raingear, hats, socks, and toiletries for the homeless.

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