aboutstickman.gifFrequently Asked Questions

Blue Bags

What can go in a Blue Bag?

  • Plastic tubs, trays, boxes with a triangle on them. Think lettuce or berry boxes, yogurt containers. Remember: empty, clean, and dry.
  • Coated cartons like milk, juice, soup stock, soy milk and the like. Empty. Clean. Dry.

What can't go in a Blue Bag?

  • Glass
  • Plastic film and bags
  • Scrap metal
  • Electronics
  • Batteries
  • Bulbs
  • Printer cartridges
  • Styrofoam


  • What are the transfer station's hours & phone number? (NOTE that these are not Methow Recycles hours. The transfer station is a separate entity and we are providing their hours here as a courtesy. These hours may change, so we recommend calling ahead to confirm they are open.)
    April 1 - Sept 30 - Tues through Friday, 10am-4pm, Sat 9am-4pm
    Oct 1 - March 31 - Tues & Thurs, 10am-4pm, Sat 9am-4pm
    Call 997-2025 for more info.

  • How do I get my garbage or recycling picked up?
    Call WasteWise - 997-8862

Waste Reduction Tips

  • How can I reduce the number of catalogs and other unwanted mail I receive?
    Try registering with Catalog Choice
    Call the toll-free number on the catalog and ask to be removed from their list. They can also reduce the frequency of their mailings to you.

  • How can I use less plastic? Here are 16 simple suggestions.


  • Why should I sort my recycling?
    In the Methow Valley you have a choice.
    • If you don't wish to sort, you can sign up for commingled curbside collection with WasteWise Methow. Almost everything recyclable in the Methow can go in your bin. Please use the recycling guide and the sticker on the bin to be sure. Serveral things can only be recycled at the Recycling Center in Twisp, including glass.
    • If you'd like to haul your own recycling to the Center, then you have chosen to sort. Our solid relationship with our buyers depends on the quality of the product we produce. When you self-haul your recycling and sort it into the correct bins you play an important part in this process. You also make sorting and baling by our community volunteers much easier, which makes them very happy!


  • Is glass recycled in the Methow?
    Yes! Our glass is hauled to Seattle where it is melted down and made into new glass. Although it might seem like a significant carbon footprint to do this transportation, the energy savings achieved by making new glass from recycled glass saves much more that. The biggest obstacle to getting glass to Seattle is cost. This is why it is so important that those of us who recycle glass support it.

  • Can I put glass in my curbside bin collected by WasteWise?
    No. We run the material collected by WasteWise through our baler, and glass is a significant contaminant and safety hazard. If you wish to recycle your glass, please bring it to the Recycling Center in Twisp.


  • How do I know which kind of plastic film you take?
    We accept clear LDPE, which is most easily described as clear and stretchy with a minimal amount of color. It also includes some solid white bags such as pellet-fuel and compost. Look for the recycling symbol with LDPE or the number 4 on the bag. This does not include tinted plastic grocery bags, garbage bags (these are HDPE), or crinkly cellophane.

  • Why don't you take all kinds of plastic film?
    Our buyer only accepts LDPE film.

  • What should I do with caps?
    Unless you see a special bucket with signage collecting caps for an art project, please remove and discard them.

  • Do I need to rinse out my bottles and jugs?
    Yes! All recyclables must be EMPTY, CLEAN, AND DRY. Clean containers are less of an attractant for pests like yellowjackets and rodents. Also, when you remember that these are all handled by humans who are your friends and neighbors, it's a really friendly thing to make them not icky!

  • What about styrofoam?
    Molded styrofoam is a bummer, and unfortunately the only suggestion we have at this time is the landfill. Styrofoam peanuts can be re-used. We are able to facilitate the re-use of a certain amount of peanuts if they are clean and bagged. If you know anyone who does a lot of shipping, please offer your peanuts to them!

Tin Cans

  • How do I know whether a can is tin or aluminum?
    It's easy - a magnet will stick to tin.

  • Do I need to remove labels?
    No you don't.

  • Do I need to rinse out my cans?
    Yes! All recyclables must be EMPTY, CLEAN, AND DRY. Clean containers are less of an attractant for pests like yellowjackets and rodents. Also, when you remember that these are all handled by humans who are your friends and neighbors, it's a really friendly thing to make them not icky!

  • What should I do with the lids?
    Please leave them attached to the can and pushed inside for safety, or loose but inside the can with the top squeezed together. Loose can lids get caught in our baler, so we're trying to keep them under control. The last option is to put them in the container near the tin bin. A volunteer will later load them into a large can and smash the sides down to keep them there before they go into the baler.


  • Which electronics does Methow Recycles accept?
    Desktop and laptop computers, televisions, computer monitors, and e-readers. These items contain toxic and, in some cases, valuable materials which should be kept out of the landfill.
  • Why doesn't Methow Recycles take all electronics?
    The electronics we accept are those funded by the eCycle Washington program which pays for their shipping and handling. Please visit our How do I get rid of page for information on recycling of printers and copiers.


  • What kind of metals can I bring to Methow Recycles?
    Any non-ferrous (a magnet won't stick), including copper, aluminum, brass, motors, or lead. Small, heavy ferrous items.


  • Are batteries recycled? Nicad (rechargable) and UPS (computer backup) are. Other household batteries are sealed in concrete and disposed of properly in the landfill.


  • Why doesn't Methow Recycles keep the same hours as the Transfer Station?
    This is a budget issue for us, as we always need at least 2-3 paid staff members at the center during our open hours. 

 WasteWise and commingled recycling

  • Does WasteWise compete with Methow Recycles?
    No. We collaborate closely with WasteWise in support of our mission!

  • What happens to the commingled recycling collected by WasteWise?
    They deliver it to us at Methow Recycles where we bale it and remove any contamination. We ship it to Waste Management's sorting facility in Spokane where the bales are broken apart, sorted, and re-baled.