Plastic Bags & Plastic Film

Plastic Bags

Why can't it go in the recycling bin?

Plastic bags and plastic film are not recyclable in curbside collection due in part to their structure. Even though these items might have recycling symbols on them, they can’t be recycled in the curbside collection systems or at the City recycling drop-off location. Both items tangle up in the gears of recycling trucks and the sorting equipment at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF). If plastic bags get in the sorting process, they can clog up the MRF and shut it down for hours just to untangle the bags that got stuck. Put your recyclable items into the cart loose and do not bag them in plastic bags or plastic trash bags. 

If I can't put it in the curbside recycling bin, where can it go?

Consider saying "no" to using plastic bags altogether and use reusable bags or paper bags instead when you purchase items. Additionally, put all your recyclables into the cart or drop-off site loose and do not put the items into plastic bags or plastic trash bags. If you have unavoidable plastic bags, many retailers will accept them for recycling, such as Meijer and Kroger. Learn about the requirements and participating retailers here.