Talking Trash - Latest News and Events

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Look for several cleanup events in Vancouver and Clark County in 2016 that provide residents with an opportunity to manage a variety of special wastes through reuse, recycling or safe disposal. You can take many items to a special recycling event near you. Get more details at:

     East Vancouver 
     Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
     C-Tran Fisher's Landing Transit Center, 3510 SE 164th Ave.
     Materials Accepted: Block foam, electronics, items containing freon, scrap metal & tires
     Shredding included at this event

     Central Vancouver
     Saturday, Sept.17, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
     Clark College, Yellow Lot 1, 1900 Fort Vancouver Way
     Materials Accepted: Block foam, electronics, items containing freon, scrap metal & tires
     Shredding included at this event

PLEASE NOTE: These events are no longer accepting Household Hazardous Waste, such as automotive products, household cleaners, paints/solvents and poisonous material. Visit the household hazardous waste webpage to learn more about disposal options.

IMPORTANT: As of May 2015, there are no ongoing programs or processors in Clark County accepting block foam for recycling. This information will be updated should that status change in the future.

Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste

Not all household products are harmless. If the label says DANGER, POISON, CAUTION or WARNING on the label, consider the product hazardous. What should you do with it when it's no longer wanted or needed? Be safe! Vancouver residents have a variety of options for proper disposal of household hazardous waste. Visit our household hazardous waste webpage to learn more.

Not sure if it's a household hazardous waste? Look it up on our Recycling A-Z waste wizard widget.

Recycle Fluorescent Lights

As of Jan. 1, 2015, residents of Washington State will be able to recycle fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and other mercury-containing lights at no charge. LightRecycle Washington collection sites will take traditional fluorescent tubes (including straight, curved and circular tubes), the twisty compact fluorescent lights and high intensity discharge lights, which are commonly used in outdoor lighting fixtures. The program does not accept lighting fixtures or ballasts. Both individuals and businesses can drop off lights for recycling, although there is a limit of 10 lights per day.

Get locations and other info from LightRecyle Washington's website at

Dispose of Unwanted Medications

What do you do with medication you no longer need or want? To start, never ever flush unwanted medication down the toilet or dump them down the drain where they can cause major harm to the environment. Unwanted medication can be disposed of at several sites across Clark County throughout the year.

Controlled substances, such as pain killers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications, can be taken to participating pharmacies. Click here for more details on the safe disposal of unwanted medications.

Get Empowered All Year Long! Free E-Waste Recycling

Empower Up provides convenient electronics recycling at 5000 E Fourth Plain Blvd, Suite E101. Empower Up is a reuse and recycling center that accepts donated computers and electronics, working or not. Reused electronics are sold to the public at discount prices in their Reuse store. Empower Up works with local nonprofits as well, to distribute reused electronics to those in need in Clark County.

See their website at or call 360-314-4171 for more details. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Reuse store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Recycle Plastics

Vancouver residents can use their blue recycling carts to recycle many plastics at the curb.Toss these plastics in the blue recycling cart: clean plastic bottles; yogurt, margarine and other clean tubs; and 5-gallon or less nursery pots and buckets. Click here to learn more about what can go into your recycling cart.

You can also recycle the same plastics that go into the curbside cart at local transfer station drop-off areas. West Van Materials and Central Transfer and Recycling accept mixed rigid plastics the size of a five-gallon bucket and smaller. They have a separate container for clean film plastic. Film plastic can also be recycled at many grocery stores. Look for a collection bin near the store entrance.

Far West Recycling in Portland accepts most rigid plastics including bulky rigids. Click here to see Far West Recycling's brochure regarding plastic and learn what materials are accepted and how they must be sorted. Far West Fibers has two locations: 12820 NE Marx Street Portland, OR 97230; and 2005 N Rosa Parks Way Portland, OR 9721.

How's the Weather?

Severe weather can whip up a number of garbage and recycling related issues. Here are some tips and facts that you should know:

  • When strong, high winds are forecast, please do not put out garbage and recycling until the morning of collection, if possible. You'll avoid having containers tipped over, and your neighbors will thank you, too! Just remember to have your items at the curb in the morning, when pickup begins at 6:30 a.m.
  • Downed limbs and trees on private property are the responsibility of the private property owner. Resources for yard debris may be found here.
  • City of Vancouver Operations Center crews respond to trees and limbs that fall into the street and block traffic. You can use our online Service Request to report non-emergency Public Works requests, including street maintenance, traffic signals, parks and other City facilities, water, sewer, and drainage issues. For Vancouver Public Works 24-hour emergency service requests, please call 360-693-9302.
  • Get more information here about inclement weather and its potential impact on garbage and recycling collections.
  • To learn more about how Public Works prioritizes street maintenance in severe weather and to learn more about how you can protect pipes from freezing, help prevent street flooding, get tips for travel, sign up for Public Works Severe Weather updates.
  • To learn about protecting trees, hiring a tree care professional or meeting the city's requirements, please visit our Urban Forestry site.
Central Transfer and Recycling Center
11034 NE 117th Avenue
Vancouver, WA
West Van Materials Recovery Center
6601 NW Old Lower River Road
Vancouver, WA
Washougal Transfer Station
4020 South Grant Street
Washougal, WA