San Diego announced Monday that residents can recycle many more types of plastics in curbside blue bins: Yogurt cups, lawn chairs, plastic toys and others.
Here are some answers to questions that readers and I have had about plastic recycling.
What’s going to happen to all this stuff now being collected?
It’s headed to China or other Asian countries. Depending on the type of plastic, the city says it can be used for fiber fill for jackets, laundry baskets, trays and tubes. The type of plastic in yogurt cups can be turned into the black plastic used in TV sets and electronics. Toys, buckets and pots can be recycled into — yep — toys, buckets and pots.
Why’s this stuff only being collected now when it wasn’t before?
Because the city’s recycler knows it has a guaranteed market for it. Some localities throughout California were able to recycle it previously because they found specific manufacturers that wanted plastics like yogurt cups. San Diego didn’t, and didn’t want to collect it in blue bins if it would’ve had to be sent to the landfill.