Fairbanks Central Recycling Facility reminds residents what can and cannot be recycled

The Central Recycling Facility is back open to the public.
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 9:19 AM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - After a four month closure, the Central Recycling Facility is back open, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) is reminding residents about what can and cannot be recycled there.

Green Star of Interior Alaska, a local non-profit promoting recycling within the community, has taken on management of the Fairbanks facility.

Under the new management, operations are getting back to normal after the facility’s closure in July. Matt Pearson the FNSB Recycling Manager, explained, “We’re accepting all the same materials that we accepted last year.”

These include plastic bottles and jugs, and aluminum beverage containers. However, not all plastic is acceptable, including “number 1 plastic cups or thermoform clamshell containers or number 2 tubs such as yogurt or margarine, stuff like that, and the reason we can’t accept that here is while those may be made of number 1 or number 2 plastics, they are recycled through a different technology,” according to Pearson.

Glass also remains off the list. “It is not something that we accept due to the fact that our downstream recycler has no interest in taking the glass at this time,” Pearson said.

Items recycled at the facility are gathered together and baled into bundles. These are then sent down to Anchorage, eventually making it to mills in the Pacific Northwest.

Pearson said that since reopening, the site as seen average numbers of recyclers, with materials coming in at a slightly higher rate due to lots of people storing during the downtime.”

Cardboard marks the most recycled item at the center. “Last year, we processed over 740 thousand pounds of cardboard,” he explained.

Residents are asked to sort and clean their own recycling before bringing it to the C-R-F. “Items like cardboard or mixed paper that are soiled with food waste we cannot accept.”

Plastic jugs that held automotive fluid can’t be accepted either, as those are considered contaminated.

By looking at the borough’s posted list of items that can and cannot be accepted, users can avoid “Wish-cycling.” “That’s where people bring in stuff that they would like to be recyclable, but that we can’t necessarily take,” Pearson said.

These items include steel food cans, non-beverage aluminum, which can both be recycled at K & K Recycling on the Old Richardson Highway.

More information about the facility’s recycling capabilities can be found here.