Please Don't Put Plastic Bags in Medford Recycling Anymore!

Single stream recycling is new in Medford and residents are still getting used to the guidelines. Do you know if you can put plastic bags in our recycling now?

Medford residents are still getting used to the new recycling guidelines and I know they can be complicated and hard to remember. One thing I've noticed people do is put their recycling in a plastic bag and then put the whole bag in the recycling bin.  Unfortunately, this contaminates the recyclables that Medford collects.

Please do not put pastic bags in the new Waste Management recycle bins.  

This holds true for bags with chasing arrows, bags that are "designed" to hold recyclables or supermarket bags.  If your style is to collect your recycling in a plastic bag,  don't tie it off and put it in the bin with your recycling.  Empty the bag directly into your recycling cart and then re-use it.

For more information on Medford's recycling program, see the recycling page on the City of Medford website.

For tips on teaching toddlers to recycle check out this post on my green living blog.

Happy Greening!

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kerri May 09, 2011 at 03:15 AM
Thank You Alicia, I was not aware of this. I actually would put the recyclables in the plastic shopping bags then throw it in the bin. I appreciate the information. Medford Resident
Diane Mc May 09, 2011 at 11:06 AM
thank you! I did not know that....very helpful!
Traci Anderson May 09, 2011 at 02:36 PM
The City of Medford Recycling FAQ makes it sound like you can recycle plastic bags with the "chasing arrows" it reads: "Not accepted: Plastic bags NOT marked by ‘chasing arrows..." which would make me think that bags with the chasing arrows CAN be recycled, is this not true?
Alicia Hunt May 09, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Traci: I believe you are referring to the old file called "What Can Be Recycled?" http://medford.org/Pages/MedfordMA_Recycle/what I've pointed that out to the city recycling coordinator so she can take that down. The new guidelines indicate that plastic bags have to be recycled at the supermarket and that you should not bag your recycling: http://medford.org/Pages/MedfordMA_Recycle/FAQ-word1.pdf and at http://medford.org/Pages/MedfordMA_Recycle/Final_MedfordGuide.pdf I hope it helps, and I know that it's confusing since the rules changed!
Matt Parkerson October 19, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Hi Alicia, I'd like to see the city of Medford start charging a 5 cent tax on plastic bags used by businesses, passed onto consumers. Several green cities across the country have already started doing this. There really is no need for plastic bags, if you make a small lifestyle adjustment to bring reuseable cloth bags with you, it really isn't tough. Many business and residents might argue that consumers will purchase less, but several very successful businesses already STOPPED offering bags altogether. BJs, Costco, Ikea, and the bakery outlet in Wellington Circle -- all these businesses have survived without offering the free plastic bags we all took for granted for so long. Furthermore, people always talk about lowering our countrie's dependence on oil, well here is just another (albeit small) way to lower that dependence. I believe if we got enough people together and approached the city council on this, we'd get it through -- just an idea. Keep up the good work Matt


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