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Plastic Bags in the Recycling Stream

It does my heart good whenever someone reads the newsletter, especially when they can keenly identify conflicting information.  Today a resident identified a conflict between the information in the Mayor's FYI versus information from Public Works on Page 15. 

This question allows me to provide clarity around the evolving County Policy regarding the use of plastic bags in the County Yard Waste and Recycling Programs.  

Error in the Newsletter:  When I wrote the FYI, the Town Administration believed that Plastic Bags were allowed in the recycling stream. The Box Ad on Page 15 was added after the FYI was written, when the Public Works staff learned of the change in County Policy.  No corresponding change was made to the FYI. (my apologies)

Plastic Bags in the Recycling Stream:  Plastic Bags, Shrink Wrap or Stretch Film is NO LONGER in the recycling stream.  Therefore, recycling materials can no longer be placed in any type of plastic bag.  I have included the updated information from the County Website at the bottom of this note.  

Town Policy as we Communicate the Change:  Cheverly can no longer bring plastic bags of any type to the County Recycling Facility.  All residents should stop including plastic bags in their recycling, stop using plastic bags to store their recycling materials.  

However, we recognize that it will take time to communicate this change.   Therefore, during December, Public Works will pick up any recycling placed in clear plastic bags.  Public Works will remove the recycling materials from the clear bags so that it can be taken to the recycling facility and dispose of the clear plastic bags.  

However, starting in January it will be the responsibility of every resident to ensure that plastic bags of all types are removed from the recycling stream.  

Thank you for your cooperation.  If you have further questions please call Public Works at (301) 773-2666 during office hours (M-F / 8:00 am to 4:00 pm) 

From the County Website: 

Acceptable Items

Food and beverage containers
Empty aerosol cans
Aluminum, bimetal, ferrous, and steel food and beverage containers
Aluminum foil
Coat hangers
Mixed Paper/Corrugated Cardboard
All paper
Aseptic/gable-top milk and juice cartons
Flattened corrugated cardboard (boxes)
Frozen food packaging
Hard- and soft- covered books
Kraft paper bags and wrapping paper
Newspapers with inserts
Paper board (cereal and cracker boxes)
Telephone books
Drinking cups/glasses
Flower pots
Narrow-neck containers with code identification numbers 1 through 7
Wide-mouth containers such as peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and whipped topping; margarine/butter tubs; and
Prescription bottles
Coat hangers
Remember to rinse all food and beverage containers and to recap or place the lids in the recycling cart/bin.
Residential Curbside Single-Stream Recycling Brochure

Unacceptable Items
  • Auto parts
  • Broken glass
  • Dishes
  • Electronics
  • Grocery bags, shrink wrap and stretch film
Hazardous materials
Light bulbs
Medical waste
Motor oil containers
Packing foam and peanuts
Plastic utensils & bags 

Cheverly Executive Offices:   6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD 20785  (301) 773-8360
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