Camden County Reminds Residents to Keep Plastic Bags Out of Recycling Bins This Holiday Weekend

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(Gloucester Township, NJ) – The Camden County Office of Sustainability is reminding residents in preparation for the July 4 holiday that plastic bags should never be placed in curbside recycling containers.

“Plastic bags are not recycled, instead they end up wreaking havoc on recycling machinery and costing thousands of dollars in damages, as well as work stoppages,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Office of Sustainability. “These bags represent the majority of single stream recycling contamination, lessening the ability of other materials to be recycled. This holiday weekend, please be extra mindful of what items can and cannot be recycled, and remember, when in doubt, throw it out.”

Plastic bags of any kind should not be placed in curbside recycling containers, including large plastic trash bags and plastic grocery bags. Due to recent changes in how the county processes its recyclables, recycling professionals are now starting to reject contaminated recycling both at the curb and at the recycling facility. 

Please take time to learn what you should and should not recycle. Contamination is primarily caused by plastic bags as well as Styrofoam, plastic film wrap, food waste, garden hoses, electrical wires, string lights, paper/ plastic cups, bowling balls and clothing.

As a quick guide, the following items are recyclable: bottles, jars, jugs, cans, paper and cardboard.  As a rule: When in Doubt, Throw it Out! For additional information and recycling FAQs, please visit camdencounty.com and click the recycling icon on the homepage.