The Last Straw

Here’s what you should know if you enter a restaurant in the San Juan Islands and see signage for, “The Last Straw”: “The Last Straw” is a nationwide campaign encouraging businesses and customers to stop using…

3,200 Pounds of Clothing and Textiles Recycled in One Haul!

The Exchange accepts all clothing, bedding, and textiles in clean and useable condition. The accepted clothing and textiles are first made available to the Orcas Community on the Exchange shelves and clothing sort table and racks….

China Could Block Plastics & Paper from U.S. Recyclers

The recycling industry is in turmoil. China, the world’s largest market for recyclable materials, has announced it will dramatically reduce the amount of mixed paper and plastics it will accept from the U.S. going forward. This…

Secure Your Truck Load for Safer and Cleaner Roads

More than 12 million pounds of litter comes from vehicles each year in Washington State. Litter falling from vehicles is responsible for more than 400 accidents on Washington State Highways annually and is a major contributor…

Exchange Accept/Do Not Accept

In order to best serve the community of Orcas Island, and to make the most effective use of the physical plant known as The Exchange, it is essential to define what items may or may not…

Another Big Hazardous Waste Roundup!

On June 24th, more than 150 cars and trucks loaded with household toxic material showed up at the Orcas Transfer Station, where it was safely collected, contained, and not released into the environment! The Hazardous Waste…

The Kitchen Continues to Raise the Bar for Restaurant Waste Management

Periodically we like to focus on a local business and how they handle their waste stream. One of the best on Orcas is The Kitchen, owned and operated by Charles Dalton and Jasmine Townsend. Recognized in…

What is Zero Waste?

Our mission at Orcas Recycling Services / The Exchange is to build a zero waste community through service, education and stewardship of Orcas Island’s waste and resource streams. But what does “zero waste” actually mean? Zero Waste…

Non-Recyclable Item of the Month: Paper Cups

Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day or equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year, making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world. Most coffee purchased in retail…

Plastic Bag Ban in San Juan County

In October 2016 the San Juan County Council unanimously approved an ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic shopping bags. A significant source of litter, plastic bags are especially harmful in a marine environment, as they are commonly mistaken…