Celebrate America Recycles Day and Keep Plastic Bags Out of Recycling Bins

The following is an excerpt from the City of Newton’s Recycling e-newsletter.  To subscribe to the City of Newton’s Recycling e-newsletter, email the word “subscribe” to [email protected].  Click HERE for the complete e-newsletter.


Celebrated each year on November 15, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting recycling in the United States. Happy America Recycles Day!

Together we can increase and improve recycling 365 days a year by drawing awareness to common recycling mistakes. Curbside recycling contamination occurs when:

  •  The wrong materials are placed in the green cart (e.g., electronics, propane tanks, etc.)
  •  The right materials are prepared the wrong way (e.g., recyclables in plastic bags, food left in containers, etc.).

Plastic bags are the #1 source of contamination in Newton’s recycling. Plastic bags are not accepted in curbside recycling—they must be taken to a store drop off location. Do not bag your recyclables using plastic bags.

Plastic bags get wrapped around the machines that sort and move materials at the processing center. This halts sorting until the plastic bags are removed by hand from the machines, a task that decreases efficiency and creates a safety risk for workers.

Plastic bags are not the only waste that can only be recycled via drop off. Used electronics, appliances, scrap metal, block Styrofoam, rechargeable batteries, and light bulbs all must be recycled, but can’t go in the green cart. Newton residents can take these items to the Resource Recovery Center at 115 Rumford Ave in Auburndale.

Confused about how to properly dispose of something? Use the Recycle Right tool available on Recycle Right Newton, the City’s trash and recycling app. Other functions in the app include  a collection calendar with collection day reminders (handy for holidays, yard waste pickups, and household hazardous waste events) and a sorting game that is fun for all ages!