Plastic Bag Recycling

Now that plastic bags are no longer accepted in Single Stream Recycling, what should we do with them?

The Materials Recovery Facility that takes our residential recycling can no longer efficiently and cleanly separate thin/film plastic items from the other materials and sell them in the recycling market, however most grocery stores and the Town Recycling Center still collect them for recycling. As long as they are clean and separated out from the rest of the trash, they can still be recycled.

The  Containers at the bigger grocery stores and at the Recycling Center accept all types of  polyethylene PE HDPE plastic. 

These plastics often have a recycle symbol number 4 on the bottom. 

Without a visible number, you can use the following as a guideline:

ACCEPTED

  • Bread bags
  • Cereal box liners
  • Consumer product wrapping (the stuff they put around suitcases at the airport)
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Furniture wrapping (same as consumer product wrapping)
  • Newspaper bags
  • Plastic food storage bags (clean and dry, of course)
  • Plastic retail bags
  • Produce bags
  • Toilet paper, paper towel, and napkin wraps
  • Bubble wrap
  • Ziplock bags

NOT ACCEPTED

  • Cling or food wrap
  • Frozen food bags
  • Prewashed salad bags
  • Pre-packaged food bags
  • Soiled plastic bags
  • Corn plastic or bio-based plastic bags
  • Metallic coated plastic
  • Disposable tablecloth

Thank you for recycling! For more on Single Stream Recycling click here or check the Recyclopedia for information about other hard to recycle items.