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Posted on: March 27, 2019

Press Release: Changes to City of Annapolis Recycling Rules Effective April 1

Press Release

ph-ac-cn-council-compensation-0314-20170313Mayor Gavin Buckley

Public Information Office
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401


Media contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or

Changes to Annapolis Recycling Rules Effective April 1

No “Plastic Film” Permitted in City Curbside Recycling 

Annapolis, MD (March 27, 2019) – Effective April 1, the City of Annapolis will no longer accept plastic bags, film plastic, and plastic wrap in curbside recycling pickup. Bins that include plastic bags, film plastic, and plastic wrap will be rejected, tagged and left behind. Residents will then need to separate the plastic bags, film plastic, and plastic wrap for refuse and return the recycling bin to the curb the following week with all items for recycling loose in the container.

“The company that handles recycling for the City has mandated this change,” said David Jarrell, the Director of Public Works for the City of Annapolis. “This has been a recommended change for residents for some time, but after April 1 it is mandatory. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Unacceptable Plastic items includes: plastic kitchen bags, plastic grocery bags, plastic newspaper sleeves, plastic dry cleaning bags, plastic bread bags, plastic zippered food storage, plastic produce bags, plastic overwrap for items that come in cases (toilet paper, paper towels or bottled water).

The reason for the change is that plastic bags don’t “play nice” with the machinery at the recycling facility. Recycling is convenient because of the sorting process that allows for “single stream” recycling. You put everything, all your items for recycling, loose in one bin – from pizza boxes to mayonnaise jars – and it all gets separated on a conveyor belt at the recycling facility. The trouble is that the unacceptable plastic gums up the works at that initial intake stage.

These unacceptable plastic items can still be recycled. They simply can’t be included in single stream curbside recycling pickups. Plastic grocery bags and produce bags can be recycled at your local grocery store. Look for a bin in front of the store.

“If you collect your recycling in a plastic bag, just be sure you empty the items loose in the bin before taking it to the curb,” Jarrell said. “Then dispose of the plastic bag as refuse.”


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