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Colville Tribal Recycling Center accepts wide variety of materials

 

Sonny Carden drives a forklift while he and Curtis Manthey Sr. organize materials in the warehouse at the Colville Tribal Recycling Program near Nespelem. - Jacob Wagner photo

Operating since 2008, the Colville Tribal Recycling Program, based in Nespelem, provides the most comprehensive recycling opportunities in the area, accepting a wide variety of materials, for free, from anyone.

The facility, located on Schoolhouse Loop Road in Nespelem, accepts typical materials such as numbers 1 and 2 plastics, magazines and newspapers, cardboard (except the waxed kind), tin, aluminum, copper, steel, and even car batteries and fluorescent lights.

The facility also offers e-cycling, or the recycling of electronic products, including old televisions, computers, printers, toner cartridges, televisions, washers, dryers, microwaves, and more.

Recycling Manager Joaquin Bustamante said there are plans to expand toward accepting household hazardous waste items in the near future.

Tribal members are also able to dispose of old tires, refrigerators, natural wood, and shrubbery at the recycling center. All other listed materials are accepted from tribal and non-tribal members alike.

The facility does not accept glass, styrofoam, processed wood, or a variety of other items.

Workers at the program grade the materials in a large warehouse, sorting them out, and readying them to be taken away by a variety of companies from the western coast of Washington who pick up the various materials from Nespelem.

The recycling program, which has seven employees, "has definitely increased" its production volume since 2008, Bustamante said, and has expanded over the years to include e-cycling, accepting fluorescent lights, and more. The facility has made news nationwide and into Canada, according to Bustamante. "We are leaders in Indian Country," he said.

The recycling center is open from Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. To get to the recycle center, headed north, turn left on Columbia River Road toward the community center, head past the community center, and turn right up Schoolhouse Loop Road. The facility will be on your right, just past the former Fish and Wildlife buildings. A large blue warehouse with a recycling sign on it will let you know you're in the right place.

For additional questions you can contact the Colville Tribal Recycling center at 634-2416.

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