Lynnwood Recycling Quarterly eNews

Published on September 02, 2021

Shred Collection Event



Washington State Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

The Washington state single-use plastic bag ban was originally set to go into effect on January 1st of 2021. Due to COVID-19 the ban was postponed. The Governor has now issued a new start date of October 1st, 2021.

The Department of Ecology is encouraging business to start preparing now in order to be ready and in compliance! And customers should start collecting reusable bags and storing them in their cars. 

To find out more information check out the Department of Ecology's webpage here


Did You Know?


The Washington State Department of Ecology has started a new anti litter campaign called, We Keep WA Litter Free! Check out their descriptionand reasoning behind the new campaign.

Litter is a big problem with a simple solution – everyone in Washington doing their part.

Most people don’t litter. But the actions of the few who do add up to expensive clean ups, dangerous road conditions and a big environmental impact. Every year, Washington’s state and local governments spend millions of dollars to clean up litter, but those efforts only remove a fraction of the 18 million pounds of waste that accumulate every year on our roads, in our communities and throughout our natural habitats.

The impact of litter

Every year, more than 12 million pounds of litter is tossed or blown onto our highways, and 6 million pounds of litter is discarded in our parks and recreational areas.

Litter isn't just ugly, it's dangerous. Roadside litter causes hundreds of car crashes every year and many types of litter, like cigarette butts, leach harmful chemicals into natural habitats.

In 2020, Ecology funded litter pickup programs collected more than 4.5 million pounds of litter from nearly 22,000 miles of roads, costing over $4.5 million.

We need everyone’s help to turn the tide on litter.

You can learn more about Keep WA Litter Free, and find where this information came from, at the Department of Ecologies website here

Educate Me!


Check out this article about recycling paper from Waste Management. It's a good time for a refresher on this topic with our Shred Event coming up!

Paper Recycling: Can I recycle envelopes with plastic windows?

Q&A with Waste Management’s Hannah Scholes

If you think all paper and cardboard can be recycled, hold that recycling cart!

Whether you’re opening packages from the mail, paying bills, or cleaning up after a party, you will probably find yourself sorting through a lot of waste this summer. Before you put it all in your recycling cart, read on to learn about the dos and don’ts of paper recycling.

Q: What kinds of paper can I recycle?

A: Different types of paper and a variety of paper coatings cause a lot of confusion around what can and cannot be recycled. Here’s a list of the most accepted items and a few items that don’t belong:

DO Recycle:

Cardboard (flattened), Cereal/cracker boxes, Magazines, Junk mail (including envelopes with plastic windows!), Phone books, Newspaper, Office paper

DON’T Recycle:

Greasy pizza boxes (compost them instead!), Paper towels, Napkins, Paper coffee cups

An important note: paper and cardboard must be clean and dry. So be sure to empty all liquids from other recyclables and give containers a quick rinse and let them dry before tossing them in your recycling cart. Liquids or food thrown in the recycling cart degrades paper and cardboard, making them non-recyclable. What a waste!

Q: What do paper and cardboard turn into when they are recycled?

A: Most paper and cardboard are recycled into paper and paperboard products like notebooks, paper towels, toilet paper, and more cardboard boxes. Some of it is turned into other non-paper items like car insulation and animal bedding.

You can support recycling markets by buying paper products made with as much recycled content as possible. To find these products, look for a label indicating how much of the paper is from “post-consumer recycled content” — this tells you how much comes from recycled paper versus virgin wood, like trees. In general, the higher the recycled content, the better for the planet!

Q: Is shredded paper accepted in my curbside recycling cart?

A: Here’s the unfortunate truth about the shredded paper: it’s too small and unwieldy to sort. Even if you put it inside a paper bag, the bag will likely rip open as it travels from the truck to the recycling center, and shredded paper will go everywhere. I’ve seen this before and unfortunately, it means the paper will simply be tossed.

The best thing to do is to shred only when necessary. If you have documents to shred, look for community events where shredded paper is collected and recycled. If you don’t have a recycling event near you, the best place for shredded paper is in the garbage.

Now that we’ve answered your paper recycling questions, I want to leave you with two important reminders:

If you’re not sure if something is recyclable, check your local guide, and when in doubt, throw it out! It’s better to throw something in the trash and avoid the risk of contaminating an entire load of recycling.

Recyclables need to be loose in the cart. Plastic bags wrap around equipment at recycling facilities and must be manually cut away. When this happens, it brings recycling to a halt, forcing shutdowns at recycling plants and adding unnecessary costs to local recycling programs.

This article is provided by Waste Management and the original source can be found here

Looking at you!

Do you have any ideas or suggestions about how to make this newsletter better? Are you involved in or know of any recycling events in our area? Please send an email to and reference the Recycling Newsletter.

The city of Lynnwood's recycling education program, including this newsletter, is funded in part by the Washington State Department of Ecology.