Recycling options expand on island

Central and South Whidbey residents can now recycle items that are repurposed on the mainland.

Central and South Whidbey residents can now recycle some items that are commonly repurposed on the mainland.

A Styrofoam recycling program began just this week at the Coupeville Recycling Center and Freeland’s Island Recycling, the latter of which was acquired by DTG Enterprises in February.

Styrofoam can be dropped off, free of charge, at both locations.

“It’s a surprisingly good commodity and it’s amazing how much it compacts down,” said Ryan Jackman, Chief Growth Officer for DTG Recycle.

Recycled Styrofoam can be used in outdoor furniture, roofing tiles, coat hangers, seedling containers, door and window frames, picture frames and packing peanuts, among other things.

Next up, mattresses will start being accepted for recycling on July 11 in Coupeville and Freeland. Each mattress or box spring will cost $35 to recycle.

Jackman explained that over 90% of a mattress can be repurposed. The wood is recycled with urban wood waste from construction and used as alternative energy to fuel paper mills. The foam is used to make carpet padding, the metal springs are recycled along with other recovered metal and the textile is either baled and shipped, or ground and utilized, in industrial absorbent materials.

“It’s very rare I see a community so excited about recycling,” Jackman said of Whidbey Island. “Other areas take it for granted I think.”

The immense scrap metal collection that used to populate Island Recycling will not be making a return, Jackman confirmed. He said he has heard from several customers who have been relieved to see the space looking so decluttered.