Ask the Experts: What Is the Proper Way to Dispose of Plastic Bags?

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Q: I am confused about what to do with plastic bags. What’s the proper way to dispose of them?

A: San Jose does not accept any type of plastic bag in the recycling cart. They can get tangled up in the machinery at recycling facilities, endangering workers and halting the recycling process. Instead, you can put them in your garbage cart or drop them off at a store with a plastic bag recycling bin. Here’s what you can recycle in store-drop off bins:

Here are a few common items that can’t be recycled in store drop-off bins:

All items must be clean and dry to be recycled. Dirty and/or wet bags can contaminate the whole bin and keep it from being recycled.

Film plastics are recycled into new bags, packaging, or even into durable home products, such as composite lumber used to make decks and benches.

Ready to recycle your film plastics? Find a location near you.