Madison ends plastic bag recycling

By Paul Ploumis

Madison residents will have to find new outlets if they want to recycle plastic bags.

The city announced Tuesday it will no longer accept plastic film and bags in curbside recycling bins or at drop-off sites because of market constraints.

Plastic film can get tangled in automated sorting machinery, leading to shutdowns at processing centers, but Madison had been accepting bundled bags. But the city said its processor, Pellitteri Waste Systems, can no longer sell those bags.

Recycling coordinator Bryan Johnson said the city is working to find an alternative way to offer plastic bag recycling, though it’s unlikely that bags will ever be allowed back in curbside carts.

The city advises residents who want to recycle plastic grocery bags to bring them to retail collection points. Consumers can also consider using recyclable paper bags or reusable cloth bags.

State law prohibits municipalities from banning plastic bags.

For more information on what can and can’t be placed in recycling carts, visit