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The Green Frog provides a weekly look at refuse and recycling news, ideas and information for City of Manassas residents.

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Oct 27

What's the deal with plastic bags and recycling?

Posted on October 27, 2016 at 8:06 AM by Monica Boehringer

Plastic bags are made of a thin, stretchy material called a “film.” Films make up all types of bags like sandwich, newspaper and bread bags; as well as bubble wrap and packaging for paper towels and frozen vegetables. Plastic bags and films are NOT accepted in your recycling collection system. Why?

Bags and films wrap around the large rotating gears in the recycling sorting machinery, cause the entire recycling center to shut down for hours at a time to remove them. Plastic bags and  films can be recycled but they must be separated from other recyclables. So, what should you do? 

  • Toss recyclables in your collection container without a plastic bag
  • Take your plastic bags and films to drop-off locations at grocery and big-box stores

When properly recycled, bags and films can be recycled into composite lumber and make great decking, benches and other waterproof structures.