News Flash


Posted on: April 28, 2021

Plastic Bag Recycling Ends

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Curbside Plastic Bag Recycling Ends 

Effective 4/19/21, residents should no longer place plastic grocery bag bundles (bags of plastic bags) in their recycling carts. Plastic bags can still be recycled in other ways; they can be taken to many local retailers or to the Middleton Recycling Center

Why did the program end? 

Pellitteri Waste Systems is dedicated to providing the highest level of recycling for the community as possible. We accept many items that are not required to be recycled by the State of Wisconsin, including milk and juice cartons, metal pots and pans, small metal appliances, empty aerosol cans, etc. Many years ago, we created an option to allow for plastic bags contained in a bag ("bag in a bag") to be included within the single-stream curbside recycling program. This is a program that no other recycler in the State of Wisconsin has offered due to the challenges it presents. We have worked hard to keep the program going but are no longer able to do so. The main two reasons that the plastic bag in a bag program must be discontinued are: 

1. Contamination: When you place plastic bags into the commingled recycling, the bags become contaminated from the other recycling and are not kept clean enough to be recycled (being dumped in a truck with other recyclables, compacted in a truck, dumped on a tipping floor with other recyclables, etc.). Clean bags are still recyclable in other ways; taking your plastic bags back to a local retailer or the Middleton Recycling Center are the best options for plastic bag recycling. 

2. As China stopped importing lower grade film, the markets started to dry up and consequently now only clean, separated plastic bags are marketable. 

Alternative Options: 

• Reuse your plastic bags in bathroom trash cans, etc. 

• Bring reusable bags with you to the store to reduce the number of plastic bags generated. 

• Use paper bags to reduce the number of plastic bags generated. Empty paper bags are recyclable in the curbside program. Please flatten and place in the cart like you would cardboard for paper recycling. 


If you choose to place your recyclables in a bag before placing them in your cart, please use only clear plastic bags. Recyclables in black bags may not be recycled. See our website for more information on recycling contamination

Be a Super Recycler!

Check out our 7-minute video to find out what happens to your recyclables. Become a Super Recycler and watch our 1- minute recycling tip videos! Interested in Solid Waste Science and Technology in Wisconsin? Watch "Becoming Stewards of Recycling" which aired on the Into The Outdoors television series. Printable recycling lists are available. Want to stay up to date on recycling? Like our Facebook page for future new recycling tip videos and more recycling updates!  

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