The Walla Walla City Council suspended the recycling of plastic on Oct 14, 2020. This was due to the contamination of the plastics. The policy is currently being reevaluated.

Suspending plastic recycling put the plastics into the oceans and landfills. This adds to greenhouse gasses, wildlife depopulation and global warming. Washington alone produces around 340,000 tons of plastic a year that will outlive the next seven generations. Just a small town can contribute to the global issue and set bad examples.

As noted on the Whitman Wire, before the suspension, 15% to 20% of recycling was contaminated by non-recyclable items. This was costly for the city, so it implemented the new requirement with the plan to check on the progress in 2023. After the suspension, there have been groups informing citizens about what is and isn't recyclable. The contaminated recycling percentage has decreased.

The programs have done their job and it is high time Walla Walla supports the environment again.

Siri Mouat

Pioneer Middle School

Walla Walla