Recycling in Sioux Falls

All About Plastic Bags

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MRI Recycling Guide 2016-Pictures-14It’s one of the most popular questions we get…and one of the most problematic materials! The plastic bag. Let’s break down all of the details:

1. Are plastic bags recyclable? YES!

2. How should plastic bags be recycled? 

  • Small Quantities: In small quantities from residents or businesses, plastic bags can be recycled right in the single stream. We just ask that they are bagged together in a clear bag and tied shut. Get more details here.
  • Large Generators: In large quantities from commercial generators, we accept plastic bags and “film” separately in 3 different manners: Baled, Bagged in Gaylord, or Loose in Gaylord.

3. What CAN you include in the bag of bags?


  • Plastic grocery, retail, dry-cleaning bags, bubble wrap
  • Plastic bread bags, produce bags, plastic wrap
  • Plastic wrap from paper products (paper towels, toilet paper)
  • Plastic salt bags (remove rigid plastic handles)
  • Plastic zipper bags (remove top closing mechanism)
  • Plastic stretch/shrink wrap
  • 6-pack holder rings

4. What CAN’T you include in the bag of bags?

  • Paper (reciepts, tags, etc)
  • Sticky labels or tape
  • Plastic bags with food residue
  • Plastic bags that are wet
  • No string or hard plastic handles
  • Plastic food containers
  • Plastic bottles
  • Bags with plant-based additives, compostable, or biodegradable bags

5. Can you Bag other materials? 

  • Preferably No: Besides plastic film and shredded paper, we prefer all other single stream materials to be loose, not bagged, but we will accept it in minimal amounts.
  • If Must Be Bagged: Make sure it’s in a clear bag so we can see what’s inside. If it’s in a black or solid colored bag, it creates a safety and quality issue. Our employees have to rip open bagged material, and sometimes what we find inside is not pretty….and definitely not recyclable.
  • Special Items: On special occasions, we may direct your or your customers to use heavy duty bags with zip ties for unique materials. This is only for special items and must always be pre-approved by Millennium.

6. Why Can’t Bags be Loose?

  • Plastic bags are one of two items we have to manually separate out of the single stream material (bagged shredded paper is the other item). When bags come in loose, it makes it very difficult for team members to grab them. When bags are bagged together and tied shut, it is much easier to see them and grab them off the line. If bags make their way past our sorting team and into our equipment, they can jam up the machinery and really slow us down.
14 May, 17

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