Erie has announced changes to its recycling policy recently that will go into effect as the new year starts. Residents can no longer place recyclables curbside in blue plastic bags. They must use clear plastic bags or blue plastic bins, said Sarah Peelman, the city’s sustainability coordinator.

“Our refuse hauler, Waste Management, requested that we make this change,” Peelman said. “They want to make sure people aren’t putting garbage (out); only acceptable materials.”

City crews collect trash and recyclables curbside. The city has a new multiyear contract with Waste Management to handle recyclables after collection. The contract includes the requirement for the clear bags, Peelman said.

Residents must buy the clear bags or blue bins. The city announced the changes in a recycling guide flyer residents received in the mail last week.  This is the second consecutive year the city has announced last-minute changes to its recycling policy. In 2018, just days before the new year, the city announced it would no longer accept glass in 2019.

Peelman said none of the acceptable recyclable materials are changing in 2020. Residents can still recycle paper products, including newspapers, office paper, magazines and cardboard, as well as metal cans and plastics, like plastic bottles, plastic jugs and plastic jars. “The language was a bit different (on the flyers), but as far as materials go, nothing is changing there,” Peelman said.

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Author: Sarah Grabski,
Photo: Greg Wohlford File Photo, Erie-Times News,