Solid Waste & Recycling Program

Key Staff: Jon Van Woerkom, Solid Waste Technician IV, and Sonny Wisdom, Solid Waste Technician I

The Nez Perce Tribe’s history and culture are centered on respecting the earth (’apaqa’ánno’ ’ee kaa ’epeqíicx̣nu’ wéetesne). The decision to protect the earth through proper solid waste removal and recycling is not just a matter of economics and politics, it is about indigenous people taking action to maintain the natural resources they rely upon. Recycling and composting provide a holistic approach to managing waste while preserving the Nimi’ipuu way of life for future generations.

The Nez Perce Tribe’s Solid Waste and Recycling Program, under the Water Resources Division (WRD), handles disposal of Tribal government building solid waste and also rents waste bins to the Tribal Housing Authority for cleanups. In addition, waste bins are rented to other Tribal programs and private entities on request, depending on availability. Total tonnage hauled per year has held steady at about 140 tons per year.

The Program also handles recycling for the Tribe and local communities, providing office collections for Tribal government offices and Lapwai community recycling biweekly, on alternating Thursdays. Baled cardboard (OCC) is shipped directly to mills in Oregon and Washington, and other recycled materials including baled plastic bottles (#1 & #2) and aluminum cans are baled and shipped to a recycling broker in Utah. Plastic bags and film are taken to a local corporate partner of TREX who makes composite decking from the plastic and sawdust. Tin cans, shredded paper, printer cartridges, scrap appliances and other scrap metal are all taken to local partners for recycling. The average amount of recycled materials currently processed is 44 tons per year.This amount has steadily increased from 19 tons per year in 2015-2016.

Items Accepted for Recycling:

Items NOT Accepted

The Nez Perce Tribe does not currently have a household hazardous waste (HHW) collection program. Tribal members and residents living within the reservation boundaries are encouraged to contact local hazardous waste facilities to inquire about programs, specific HHW items, and amounts that can be taken to transfer stations or landfills. It is best to call ahead and check on what they take, whether you can take it to that facility, and if there is a charge for that. In some cases, you must be a resident and pay for trash services in that city/county. In other cases, the Tribe may have an agreement with the county or facility. Options for taking HHW to local facilities are available here.

Residents of Nez Perce & Asotin Counties can take up to 10 gallons or 20 containers of  Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) to Asotin County Landfill for free

Wednesdays 8-4

1st & 3rd Saturdays 8-4

HHW includes all types of batteries, all types of paint and adhesives, used motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, other flammable materials, cleaners, aerosols, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and other poison materials, pool chemicals, mercury thermometers, switches, and thermostats
Asotin County Landfill

2901 6th Avenue • Clarkston, WA 99403


See our household hazardous waste guide here.

Green cleaning means using cleaning products and methods that are safer for human and environmental health. Switching to green cleaning products is good for the health and wellbeing of our people, and it also prevents unnecessary chemicals from being released into the environment. Instead of buying commonly used cleaning products that can contain hazardous chemicals directly linked to health issues such as coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, and skin rashes, purchase alternative “green” cleaning products, or make your own.

See the recipes below or check out the appendices to our Tribal Guide for HHW Management on the Nez Perce Reservation for lots of green cleaning recipes and alternatives.

Instead of… Try
Windex Glass cleaners from Method, ECOS, Seventh Generation, or Clorox Green Works or make your own with water and vinegar
Comet, Ajax Comet, Ajax
Pine-Sol Floor cleaners from Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, Clorox Green Works
409, Simple Green All-purpose cleaners from Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, Clorox Green Works
Glade Non-aerosol air fresheners from Method or Mrs. Meyers
Pledge Method wood cleaner

Try these recipes for homemade cleaning alternatives