Use Store Bins to Recycle Plastic Bags

By ecoRI News staff

The town of Portsmouth, R.I., recently requested that its residents not use single-use plastic bags to transport mixed recyclables to the transfer station or combine plastic bags and film with mixed recycling. This request works statewide.

Residents who transport recyclables in plastic bags are asked to empty the bag contents into the transfer station’s mixed recyclables bin. Dispose of soiled plastic bags in the tall plastic bin at the transfer station, near the glass/plastic/cans recyclables bin. Plastic bags and film shouldn’t go into recyclable materials bins at the Portsmouth or Prudence Island transfer station or curbside recycling bins.

Plastic bags contaminate loads of recyclable materials and wrap around the equipment at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation recycling facility in Johnston, causing frequent shutdowns. Bagged recyclables can’t be processed at the facility.

Bring clean plastic bags and film to recycling bins in front of pharmacies, grocery stores, and retail stores. These bins accept plastic bags and film that stretches at least a little; don’t drop off clingy food wrap, fertilizer/pesticide bags, or plastics labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable.”

These bins accept: shopping bags; sandwich bags, remove and throw away hard zippers first; cereal box liners; dry-cleaning bags; newspaper bags; bread/bagel bags; produce bags; mattress bags; shrink wrap from cases of beverages; electronic overwrap; paper towel and toilet paper overwrap; air packs, from shipped packages; bubble wrap; and pellet/firewood bags, turn inside out and shake to empty.