GEORGETOWN, TX (KXAN) - As part of a new recycling program in Georgetown, plastic packaging will join all the bottles and cans getting a second life.
"It wasn't what other municipalities were doing so much as what is it our customers and residents need," said Rachel Osgood, Georgetown waste and recycling coordinator. "They told us very clearly in that survey in May 2011 we want to be able to recycle more items curbside."
Georgetown's single stream recycling program started back in October. Users can pick up two special yellow "stuffer" bags a month.
They're found at these three locations:
- Garden-Ville, 250 W.L. Walden Drive, 512-930-8282;
- Georgetown Municipal Complex, Utility Billing office, 300-1 Industrial Avenue, 512-930-3640;
- Sun City Social Center, 2 Texas Drive, 512-948-7701.
The yellow stuffer bags are stronger than typical grocery sacks and won't disintegrate when put through a compressor. Georgetown says as long as they're tightly tied they'll keep all the plastic from clogging up the recycling machinery. The bright color also helps the crew at the recycling plant sort out the plastic.
The list of recyclable plastic packaging extends far beyond just plastic grocery sacs.
"With stuffer bags as part of the bag-to-bag program, we can now accept curbside a number of items in these bags," said Osgood. "A lot of products are heavily packaged in plastic. Your paper towels, that plastic you can put in a stuffer bag. Newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, cereal bags."
The program is in contrast to the City of Austin's approach. Starting March 1, 2013, you won't find plastic bags at your grocery store in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Part of the push for the ban was that those bags get caught in Austin's recycling machinery. A pilot program found it just wasn't feasible to recycle them.
Some shoppers say making the switch to reusable grocery bags isn't a big deal.
"I think it's great actually," said Katie Graham, Austin resident. "I think people have been getting used to bringing their own bags but it's not, it hasn't been enforced. People have been eased into it. I don't think it'll be all that difficult."
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