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Waste Management Plastics Recovery

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Waste Management Plastics Recovery

Waste Management is turning hard to recycle plastics into crude oil at new Portland plant as part of broader innovation strategy to do good things with waste. This new facility utilizes a new green technology that is turning a traditional waste stream into a value stream. Difficult to recycle plastics including dirty plastic bags, computer cases and even broken plastic toys can all be converted to crude oil at this facility.

Many plastics today are difficult to recycle because they are made of mixed materials or they are dirty or greasy from use in manufacturing. This new technology recovers oil from hard-to-recycle plastics, generating crude oil for use in gasoline, low-sulfur diesel, inks and printing supplies, and even new plastics. The technology is “anaerobic thermal reclamation,” which uses an oxygen-free chamber and heat to process the plastics.

Can I start throwing plastic bags and packing peanuts into my curbside recycling cart?

Not yet! This technology is not intended to change how we recycle at the curb; that process is already quite efficient, thanks to advances in the local recycling infrastructure. This technology is designed for plastics that, for decades, have gone to the landfill because this new technology has not been available or affordable, until now.

The facility is not open to the public. All material arrives by truck at the Waste Management site in Hillsboro, where employees at our Gold LEED certified facility process the plastics into small pieces. Then the plastics arrive by truck at WM Plastics Recovery in North Portland.

701 N Hunt
Portland, OR 97217


45 new green-tech,
family-wage jobs

Clean technology with a net reduction in carbon footprint emissions compared to traditional oil extraction

Less waste for landfills

Another world-class sustainability success for the Pacific Northwest
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