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City Stops Taking Recylable Plastic Bags

Yesterday, we came to know that the County’s single-stream recycling facility apparently is no longer able to take plastic bags. As a result, the city will no longer be able to accept them in recycling.

The city also uses County’s single-stream recycling facility.

This decision was made because of a problem with them gumming up the recycling machinery,

Stores such as MOM’s Organic Market does, however, still accept plastic bags for recycling in the bin in front of the store.

Our staff has reached out to the County about this as we have not been formally notified by them of any changes to their recycling program. The County has confirmed they have NOT changed their recycling program as of right now. They are planning on banning plastic bags, but have not done so yet. All recycling programs in the County will be notified by them once they make the change. But for right now, it is the status quo.

For the time being, the City accepts plastic bags, cling film, and bubble wrap as long as they are contained in one plastic bag that is tied together.

Loose, single bags/film are not accepted in the blue cart as they jam the machines. Plastic film (grocery bags, dry cleaner bags, bubble wrap and air pockets [should be popped], film around toilet paper/paper towels, newspaper bags, bread bags) can be included as long as they are CLEAN – no food residue and they must be dry. Another way to identify plastic film that is acceptable is if it has a #2 or #4. You often find new electronic equipment wrapped in film that can be recycled, as well.

If you don’t mind a bit more effort, staff encourages you to take these bags to a grocery store that has a collection bin for them. This way, the plastic bags can go directly to a recycler and don’t go through the sorting facility where they get dirty. And, it appears that this will be the only option to recycle them in the future, as long as the County moves forward with their plan.

When/if this change does occur, the City would send this information out through College Park Connected, our resident email notification system. staff encourages you to sign up to receive notifications from “Public Works” on this page, if you haven’t already. A link to College Park Connected can also be found on the left hand side of the City’s homepage: http://www.collegeparkmd.gov. Just click on the green “Sign Up Now” button.

We will also put it in the Municipal Scene, on the Cable TV channel, and on the website. Any future communication about the recycling program (e.g. Resident Information Guide) will also list the changes.

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