Dear Recycle Lady – Mountain Messenger


Dear Recycle Lady,

Last week I was at the Recycle Center and they told me that the only #1 plastics they accepted were clear (see through) bottles and jugs.  Previously, I have put berry boxes in the #1 plastics bin as they are clear plastic and they have a #1 on the bottom of the box. Why are only bottles and jugs recycled and other #1 plastics are not?


Dear Curious,

The Recycle Center only accepts items for recycling for which there is a market.  Currently, companies that buy #1 plastics only want #1 plastics that are bottles or jugs. Apparently, there is a difference in the makeup of #1 plastic jugs and bottles that is different from #1 plastic boxes. When the buyer is processing recycled #1 plastic, the plastic is crushed and shredded into small flakes. According to, these flakes are then reprocessed to make new PET bottles or spun into polyester fiber. This recycled fiber is used to make textiles such as fleece garments, carpets, stuffing for pillows and life jackets, and similar products.  Bottles that contain drinking water and are made of #1 (PET) plastic should be recycled but not reused.


Dear Recycle Lady,

I have several years of back tax reports that I need shredded to ensure confidentiality.  What should I do before taking these reports to the Recycle Center to be shredded?


Dear Taxpayer,

Before taking your old tax forms to the Recycling Center, go through the papers and remove all paper clips, binders, manila folders, brown envelopes or large mailing envelopes. Staples do not need to be removed. Put all the papers in a bag or box and take them to the aluminum can door at the Recycle Center. Someone will meet you there and take your package to a locked, secure room.  It will remain there until such time as the staff is shedding paper.  Your shredded paper will be mixed with other shredded paper so there is no chance anyone could put your forms back together again.


Dear Recycle Lady,

Lately, I have been ordering more products online, so I have accumulated quite a few boxes. What can I do with all the bubble wrap, plastic “peanuts” and Styrofoam packaging materials that come in these boxes?

Online Orderer


Dear Online Orderer,

Good question. Bubble wrap, plastic “peanuts” and Styrofoam all can be taken to Post-Net located on Route 219 North (Jefferson Street, North), across from the former ABB building and next door to the liquor store. Boxes and/or bags of packaging materials can be dropped off at Post-Net just inside the door and to your immediate right. They will be delighted to have all three of these packaging materials and will put them to good use packing boxes for shipment by USPS, Fed-Ex and UPS. Unfortunately, any bubble wrap, plastic “peanuts” or Styrofoam that is not recycled, or repurposed will be around for the next 1,000 years or so!


Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.