No bags please!

City of Minneapolis

Empty recycling from all bags into your recycling cart

Plastic recycling is often challenging, but City officials are reminding community members of the challenges found in bagged recycling. Recycling in plastic bags is often pulled as trash at the sorting facility. This happens for a couple of reasons:

  • Possible staff injuries from repetition of opening bags
  • Opening a bag and finding it’s full of trash

Recycling put in carts in paper bags can also complicate the sorting process. Because the collection vehicles compact, recycling can get squished together inside of a paper bag resulting in a plastic, metal, paper blob that can’t easily be separated (shown right). 

These mixed material blobs may be pulled off as trash or may be allowed to go through the facility where only one of the material types will be properly sorted. The rest will be discarded at the secondary recycler.

To help the recycling sorting facility work as efficiently as possible, City officials state that it’s best to put recycling in your cart loose.

  • Dump recycling from paper bags, flatten paper bag and put it in the recycling cart.
  • Dump recycling out of plastic bags and put any plastic bags in the trash.

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