Main content

Plastic Bags, Film & Wrap

Disposal Options

Polyethylene (PE) bags and film plastics are accepted for special recycling at the District Transfer Station and participating grocery stores—not in your blue bin! Not all plastic bags and films are made of polyethylene, and only polyethylene bags and wraps are accepted in this program. View our printable guide to plastic bags and films (PDF) that has pictures of the accepted items.

Polyethylene materials may be labeled with one of the labels shown to the right or with PE, HDPE, or LDPE and/or with a number 2 or 4. Many items will not be labeled, but one way to tell if an item is PE is to pull on a small section: if the plastic easily stretches before it tears, it could be PE. If it is very crinkly, tears without stretching, or is labeled with a number other than a 2 or a 4, it's not PE and it must be disposed of as trash.

If in doubt, throw it out. If an item you have is not on accepted list, and it is not labeled with a 2 or a 4 or a store drop-off label shown below, please err on the side of caution and throw it away. Contaminants like non-polyethylene materials, paper labels and stickers, and wood pellet dust reduce the value of the recyclable material. Contamination-free recycling is necessary to keep this program going!

These polyethylene items are accepted at the District Transfer Station if they are empty, clean, and dry:

  • Grocery bags
  • Produce bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Food storage bags (e.g. Ziploc bags)
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Case wrap (e.g. plastic around cases of bottled water)
  • Cereal bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • Air pillows for shipping
  • Product over-wrap (e.g. plastic around household paper products, diapers, and feminine hygiene items)
  • Stretch wrap / pallet wrap
  • Furniture & electronics overwrap
  • Ice bags
  • Bags or film with one of the labels shown to the right

These polyethylene items are accepted at the District Transfer Station if they meet certain criteria and are empty, clean, and dry:

  • Wood pellet bags
    • Criteria: both ends must be completely cut off, then the bag must be turned inside out to release residual dust; OR both ends must be completely cut off and the bag must be completely cut down one side to make an open plastic sheet
    • Not accepted at grocery stores
  • Water softener salt bags
    • Criteria: both ends must be completely cut off, then the bag must be turned inside out to release residual dust; OR both ends must be completely cut off and the bag must be completely cut down one side to make an open plastic sheet
  • Bread bags
    • Criteria: Paper stickers or labels must be peeled, torn, or cut off
    • Only stretchy, 100% plastic bread bags are accepted, no paper-plastic combination bags
  • Plastic shipping envelopes/mailers
    • Criteria: Paper stickers or labels must be peeled, torn, or cut off
    • Plastic shipping envelopes with bubble wrap linings are accepted
    • No paper shipping envelopes (with or without bubble wrap)

The following items must go in the trash, because they are not made of polyethylene:

  • Grape bags
  • Pet food bags
  • Chip bags
  • Pre-washed salad mix/lettuce bags
  • Candy wrappers
  • Cellophane and cellophane-type materials
  • Agricultural films
  • Six-pack rings
  • Biodegradable materials
  • Frozen food bags
  • Metallic/foil packaging
  • Grain & feed bags (often woven and/or labeled #5)

Plastic bags, films, and wraps cannot be recycled in your blue bin, because they tangle in the equipment used to sort single-stream recyclables. Instead, bring them to the District Transfer Station.

Cost

Film Plastic & Plastic Bags

  • Items must meet acceptance criteria
  • No charge

Search

Search the A to Z Guide and find out what to do with hundreds of items.