The Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Office of Recycling, reminds residents that items set out for recycling collection should not be placed in plastic bags. When single stream recycling was initiated in 2008, recyclables could not be accepted in plastic bags.

Plastic bags get wound up in collection and processing equipment, requiring maintenance that costs money and time, and creates inefficiencies for processing all the recyclables. When they wrap around the sorting equipment at the Materials Recovery Facility, the equipment must be shut down to cut the bags and remove them.

Recyclables can be placed in cardboard boxes, paper bags or any container such as a laundry basket, bin or trash can as long as the containers are marked “Recycling.” Plastic bags can be recycled at many grocery stores and supermarkets.

The Bureau of Solid Waste will initially collect recycling in plastic bags but will leave a flyer and/or a sticker informing residents to please discontinue using them.

For additional recycling information, citizens can go online at or call the Office of Recycling at 410-396-4511. To report a missed collection or to find out what your recycling day is, call 311.