JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Beginning July 12, Washington County’s Solid Waste Department will once again accept No. 1 and No. 2 plastics for recycling.

The service will be available at the following county convenience center locations:

  • Cash Hollow Convenience Center at 193 Cash Hollow Road in Johnson City. Hours include Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8-11:30 a.m.
  • Gray Convenience Center at 160 Mosley Road in Gray. Hours include Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
  • Lamar Convenience Center at 3389 Highway 81 S in Jonesborough. Hours include Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5:30, Fridays from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
  • Locust Mount Convenience Center at 224 Harmony Road in Jonesborough. Hours include Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
  • Washington College Convenience Center at 255 Bill West Road in Limestone. Hours include Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

“Getting plastics out of the waste stream is something we wanted to revisit, and we are now accepting the two largest categories of consumer plastics again,” said department director Lewis Haynie. “Residents can look at the bottom of the container, and if they see a 1 or a 2 we will take those plastics.”

Those who choose to recycle should place the items in the designated containers. Those who use a trash bag to transport the plastic should toss the plastic bag in a trash bin or keep it for reuse.

A release from county leaders described No. 1 plastic — which is polyethylene terephthalate commonly referred to as PET or PETE — as clear and not intended for multiple uses. Examples include drink and food containers, large bottles and clamshell containers that hold fruit and vegetables.

No. 2 plastics — high-density polyethylene or HDPE — are described as rigid containers like milk jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles. These plastics usually have a milky or solid color.

Only 25% of PET plastic gets recycled in the U.S., the release stated. When they are recycled, the plastic gets crushed and shredded to create new bottles. It can also get spun into polyester fiber, which is used for carpets, pillow stuff and life jackets.

HDPE, the most commonly recycled plastic, is considered the safest form of plastic. It is also a cost-effective process to recycle.