Bagged Vs. Loose Materials
Most single stream items should be placed LOOSE inside your bin… NOT bagged.
Why loose? Our equipment sorts items by type, and in order to do that it has to “see” the items loose in the process. Loose material also helps haulers and recycling staff see items in the bin right away and pull out any non-recyclables as soon as possible.
If material comes in bagged, we have to manually rip it open to see what’s inside and get the materials out. We really don’t like when it comes in black or solid colored bags- we have no clue what’s inside! Imagine ripping open a bag full of grass or diapers!! Trust us, it’s not pleasant. For commercial loads that might be bagged in a dumpster, we just ask to use clear bags so we can see inside before opening it.
What to Bag and what Not to Bag:
LOOSE – DO NOT BAG:
- Plastic bottles, tubs and jugs
- Glass bottles and jars
- Steel, Tin and Aluminum cans
- Milk, Juice and Soup Cartons
- Office Paper, Newspaper, Junkmail and Envelopes
- Magazines, Inserts, Brochures, Catalogs, Paperback Books, Phone Books
- Flattened Cardboard, Brown Paper Bags
- Paperboard boxes like Cereal boxes or Pasta boxes, Clean Pizza boxes (no grease)
- Paper Egg Cartons
BAG IN CLEAR BAG (Grocery bags work):
- Shredded Paper
- Plastic Bags and Plastic Film (Shrink Wrap, Ziplock bags, Grocery Bags, see full list of what to include in the bag of bags)
Why Bag your Bags and Shredded Paper?
We pull out bagged bags and bagged shredded paper by hand to recycle before it goes through the equipment. Plastic bags are very labor intensive if they come in loose. Check out this VIDEO to see why it’s easier to grab bagged bags off of the line instead of single bags. Shredded paper also needs to be bagged because it gets EVERYWHERE! It’s impossible to capture each piece of shredded paper so we need it bagged to easily pull it out. We just request you use a clear bag and tie it up to make sure we can see it right away and know what it is (plastic grocery bags work).
Have something you’re not sure about? Use our handy Where Do I Take This tool to search the database of local places you can recycle almost anything! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask us! For commercial generators, we will accept bagged materials if needed – we just ask that you use clear bags so we can see what’s inside.