Plastic bags in the portable stations impair the recycling process. The reason is, when residents place cans, plastics or newspaper in plastic bags and deposit them in the recycling containers the recyclables are trapped in the bags. When the bagged recyclables enter the processing line, it takes a significant amount of time to manually tear the bag open and empty it out, slowing the processing time and increasing the cost to recycle.
Plastic bags are considered “contamination,” that is, an item that mixes with recyclables, reducing the quality of recyclable materials and raising processing costs.
Of course, plastic grocery bags can be recycled PROPERLY by returning them to the store of origin.
This one improvement in the countywide recycling program will significantly increase the quality of recyclables being processed.