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Plastic bags not accepted by recycling service

Plastic bags are no longer recycled at curbside.

The City of Nanaimo is reminding the public that while more than 10 new items are collected as part of curbside recycling, plastic bags are not one of them.

The city stopped accepting plastic bags in May when the municipality became a contractor for Multi-Material B.C., a non-profit of manufacturers and retailers mandated to recycle their own products. The decision against accepting bags came after ongoing problems in the sorting process where grocery bags and plastic wrappers became tangled in machinery or wrapped around other recyclables, a press release says.

“Unfortunately plastic bags are still being placed out for collection and are contaminating the city's recycling loads,” said Charlotte Davis, the city's manager of sanitation and recycling. “This is causing problems sorting materials.”

Residents are being encouraged to drop off bags, as well as other film plastics at drop-off centres like the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and Return-It depots. Grocery stores can also accept plastic bags.

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