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New task force aims to untangle myths, assumptions as recycling realities change

Trash and recycling bins sit outside a Salem yard. Oregon is working on modernizing its recycling system so residents can trust the items they’re recycling are actually recyclable. (Oregon Capital Chronicle/JULIA SHUMWAY)

Buy a bottle of dish soap, a jug of milk or a takeout container of Chinese food, and you’ll find an embossed triangular symbol of three arrows around a number.

The chasing arrows, a relic of recycling laws passed decades ago, would appear to indicate that an item could be dropped in a curbside recycling bin and be reincarnated instead of spending eternity in a landfill.

But there’s a catch – not all products with chasing arrows can actually be recycled, and recycling standards vary across the state and country. That leaves uncertainty for consumers wanting to be thoughtful.

Over . . .