Recycling Market Crisis – Update

Grants Pass, OR – Southern Oregon Sanitation (SOS) continues to keep all stakeholders in the current recycle crisis informed with the most current information. As directed by the Counties and Cities we operate recycle routes in, SOS has requested and received from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) a Conditional Material Handling Concurrence.

This concurrence allows SOS, when needed, to dispose of recycle material in the landfill when there is no viable recycle market for the material.

At this time, we plan to continue to operate our recycle routes as normal but our recycle depots (1381 Redwood Ave Grants Pass, 42 Ball Road Eagle Point, and 905 Kerby Mainline Road. Kerby) will no longer be accepting any types of plastic or paper.

What can the average person do to help during this market crisis?

  1. Reduce the amount of material that needs to be recycled by modifying buying habits to products that have reduced packaging or reusable packaging.
  2. Wishful recycling, which has contributed to contamination in the recycling stream, must come to an end. Markets are looking for less than 1% contamination coming from programs. This means if it is not on the approved list or you don’t know then it has to go into the garbage cart. Putting the wrong material in your co-mingled recycling could contaminate the entire shipment. SOS will be monitoring closely for contamination from each household. Those that are not following the approved material list may have their recycling carts pulled from their household. Please visit our website ( for materials that can be accepted in your current program.
  3. Watch for changes in your local recycle program. SOS expects over the next few months for the material that can be taken in our programs to dramatically change. This change will mean a reduction in the amount of materials that can be taken curbside.

Despite these challenges SOS is committed to protecting the health and welfare of the residents of the Rogue Valley by providing environmentally sound, solid waste management services.  We remain dedicated to offering recycling opportunities to our customers as markets develop for specific materials.  We look forward to working with our customers and communities to evolve our programs to meet the needs of changing recycling markets.

As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

Southern Oregon Sanitation

Contact us at (541) 826-5691 or (541) 479-5335