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Keep plastic bags out of your recycling
Published: 11/23/2020
A recent sort of RRRASOC's recycled materials showed that bagged recycling was the largest type of contamination found.

All recycling should be loose, NOT bagged, as well as clean and dry when placed in your recycling container. Bagged recycling is often thrown away as it is undistinguishable from actual trash. The bags are not broken open to keep possible contamination out of the sorting process and to keep workers safe from the unknown contents. This is why keeping your recyclables loose is incredibly important.

Bagging your recyclables is as good as throwing them away. This includes keeping plastic bags of any sort out of your recycling including:
  • trash bags
  • bread/food bags
  • Ziploc bags
  • plastic food wrap (cling wrap)
  • plastic floor sheeting
  • dry cleaner bags
Other plastic items you should not recycle include, bubble wrap, candy bar wrappers, chip bags, granola bar wrappers, pet food bags and seed bags.

Plastic bags, in general, should not be recycled in any RRRASOC community. They should be taken to a special drop off location. Big box stores like Meijer and Wal-Mart often have plastic bag recycling near the entrance of the store. Plastic bags (along with hoses, wires, cords, ropes, tubing, etc.) are known as tanglers and cause the machines that sort the recyclables to clog up and not work. The tanglers must be manually cut from the machines causing delays in sorting and possible injuries to workers.