NOTICE 4/5/2024 @ 7:30am: North Kent Waste & Recycling Center is in the final stretch of its expansion construction. Our recycling drop-off stations at this site have been temporarily moved — click here for the details. Stay tuned here on our website or our social media for updates!

Plastic (Bags & Flexible Film)

How can Kent County Department of Public Works help?

Explore the waste stream options below for how you can reuse, recycle, compost, or dispose of the item you are trying to get rid of through a KCDPW facility or service.

Donate or Reuse
Compost
Recycling
Special Collection Recycling
Proper Disposal
Trash

If your plastic bag or flexible plastic item is still in great shape and you just don’t have a use for it anymore, consider donating or repurposing it! Facebook Marketplace, Freecycle, Craigslist, or your local BuyNothing Project group are all great places to give away items.

Check out some of the Community Disposal Outlets below for any places that accept donations or recycling.

Additionally, a quick internet search can provide you with some creative ways to reuse those plastic bags!

Flexible plastics and plastic bags, while made of fossil fuels (old animal and plant matter), are NOT compostable.

Only ASTM certified compostable plastics or BPI certified compostable plastics are compostable–usually under commercial composting conditions only. Always check with your compost service if they accept certified compostable plastics for processing.

Flexible plastics and plastic bags SHOULD NEVER go in your curbside recycling cart or in our recycling drop-off stations.

Due to their flexible nature, plastic bags, bubble wrap, air pillows, and other flexible plastics can wrap around sorting equipment, clog machines, and tangle up other recyclables preventing them from getting sorted and recycled at all.

The ONLY way to recycle plastic shopping bags or any plastic film material is to return them to a participating store drop-off and NOT in your recycling bin. Please see the “Special Collection Recycling” tab for more info.

The emerging technology of flexible plastics recycling is slowly coming online. Some companies have collaborated on recycling take-back programs on certain plastic bags and flexible plastic items. Things to note about these Special Collection Recycling outlets:

  • Make sure the plastic bags and other types of plastic film materials are clean, empty, and dry.
  • Stuff many bags and plastic film materials inside one bag and tie shut before tossing in the store drop-off bin.
  • These store drop-offs vary from location to location on what specific types of plastic film and wrap recycling they accept and we encourage you to ask the store you intend to recycle at as to what specific plastic film and wrap items they accept.
  • The Plastic Film Recycling Drop-Off Program is run by the Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) of the American Chemistry Council, not by Kent County Department of Public Works.

Check out some of the Community Disposal Outlets below for any places that accept plastic bag or flexible plastics donations or recycling.

Plastics bags and other flexible plastics are not hazardous waste.

Keeping plastic bags and other flexible plastics out of the landfill, when possible, and into reuse or recycling ensures we give those valuable resources a second chance at life and use!

However, if you cannot recycle or repurpose your plastic bags and flexible plastic items, this type of waste is acceptable in your trash or can be landfilled at Kent County Department of Public Work’s two residential trash drop-offs for a fee:

The links above can provide the location address, disposal fee, and hours of service.

Community Resources

Below you will find businesses and community outlets that may accept this item/material.

D & W Fresh Market
844-251-3999

Accepts plastic shopping bags, corks, and paper for recycling. Most recycling drop-offs are located within the entryways or lobbies of the stores.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Kohl’s
262-703-7000

Accepts plastic shopping bags.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Lowe’s Home Improvement
800-445-6937

Accepts appliances, plastic plant trays/pots/tags, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, CFL bulbs (no tubes), and plastic shopping bags.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Meijer
877-363-4537

Accepts plastic shopping bags. Most bag recycling drop-offs are located in the entryways or lobbies of the store.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Plastic Film Recycling

Offers a directory of local collection sites for recycling plastic film such as plastic grocery bags, air pillow packaging, plastic produce bags, bread bags, newspaper bags, and plastic product overwrap. Be sure to look for a recycling symbol ♻ or label such as the one below as not all plastic film is recyclable.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Target
612-696-3400

Accepts plastic bags. Most bag recycling drop-offs are found by the restrooms.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Walmart
800-925-6278

Accepts plastic shopping bags.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

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