Madison stops accepting plastic bag, plastic film for recycling

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 10:25 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Madison no longer wants residents to put their used plastic bags in recycling containers.

On Tuesday, the city stated it would not accept the bags or plastic film, either in recycling carts or left at the Streets Division’s drop-off sites. Instead, city officials urge people who have accumulated the bags to return them to retailers that offer plastic bag recycling and provided a list of the ones who do.

The city also suggested people avoid using the bags altogether, noting that state law prohibits local governments from banning them altogether. The Streets Division recommended taking reusable bags when shopping or selecting paper, rather than plastic.

In announcing the move, the streets division explained plastic bag recycling had always been a problem for recyclable sorting systems, adding that they have created issues such as getting tangled in sorting systems throughout the industry.

According to the city, they had been accepting the bags because they were able to sell the materials to Pellitteri Waste Systems, however the city cannot sell the waste anymore.

The Streets Division added it is looking for alternate ways to provide plastic bag recycling, but noted they would probably never be allowed in recycling bins again.

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