The ABCs of HDPEs with Threshold Recycling


Maggie Wall/KMXT

People coming to Kodiak from larger Outside communities are often surprised that we don’t take recycling more seriously. We do live on an island-and options for waste storage are limited.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall recently toured Threshold’s recycling facility on Von Scheele. She has this report.

—(((Recycle Center 6:04 "Ken Reinki from Threshold Services, SOC.")))

Ken Reinke has this great, kind of oddball sense of humor. And he uses it a lot in his job as the Executive Director of Kodiak’s recycling center which is run by Threshold Services. Not because it’s a particularly light hearted job-more like it’s a good thing he can find humor in sometimes humorless situations.

Take uncleaned cans with bits of food and sauce still inside. Not good.

People mixing tin cans with aluminum. Very much not good.


And then there are the plastics. Who knew there were so many different types which have such different values???

(((Bottles and Jugs )))

A comparison of values is interesting-and eye-opening. Number 1 plastics-bottles-bring in $365 per ton. Number 2-milk jugs and such-brings $380 per ton. Now compare that to those mixed-plastics-which make up the bulk Kodiak’s plastic shipments-that are worth just a token $64 per ton.

(((Mixed is $64 ton.)))

The prices for paper products varies as well:

(((Papers and Cardboards)))

Regardless of the amount or the make-up, Kodiak’s recycled materials serve a higher cause. It keeps stuff out of the ever-shrinking landfill. Plus, it provides work for disabled people-the primary goal of Threshold Services.


Getting Kodiak residents to recycle-and recycle properly-is not something that will happen overnight-Reinke says people need retrained. In the meantime, the space and labor necessary to handle the incoming mixes of materials limits options-and limits income potential.

Back to those plastics again…think about it…plastic containers are really just a lot of air surrounded by a small amount of plastic, so it makes sense that a bundle of compacted plastic hogs up a whole lot of space while it’s being sorted and processed.

Imagine a 1 car garage…fill it with plastic bottles and jugs…now imagine it all going into a compacting-baler machine…squish, crunch, smoosh and out pops one bale of very compacted plastic.

(((Start sound Not worth anything.")))

Ken Reinke from Threshold Services.

I’m Maggie Wall.

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