Plastic bags can no longer be recycled. The city is asking residents not to throw them in bins

April 8, 2021, 11:14 am

Logan rude

Posted: April 8, 2021 at 11:14 am

Photo by Logan Rude

MADISON, Wisconsin – Madison is fundamentally changing the way we handle recyclables: no more plastic bags.

The city’s Streets Division announced Tuesday that local residents should no longer mix plastic bags and foils with their recycling. Officials said plastic bags and film had long caused problems with recyclable sorting systems, which led to the change.

Streets Division officials said the city’s plastic bag and wrap recycling program was only operational because the bags were bundled and there was a market for Pellitteri Waste Systems to sell the materials collected from the city’s collections. According to a press release, this is no longer an option.

Instead of recycling, residents are encouraged to return their bags to retailers who have their own recycling programs for plastic bags and film. According to official sources, in-store plastic bag recycling programs are often cleaner and more consistent than roadside collection trucks.

Residents looking to reduce their plastic bags and film waste can also choose to use reusable bags, decline bags when not needed, or opt for recyclable paper bags.

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