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City Of Binghamton Reminds Residents Not To Put Single-Use Plastic Bags In Recycling Bins

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While they're made of plastic, single-use plastic bags can not go in curbside recycling bins. That reminder was sent out by City of Binghamton Mayor Rich David on Monday.

Deputy Commissioner of Public Works for the city, Mark Donovan, explains that bags, like those you get from the grocery store, clog up recycling machinery.

"They get caught up in all of the rollers and everything and binded up and then they clog the motors and the motor burns up and it's extremely expensive to get that fixed," says Donovan. 

Donovan says when plastic bags do make it from bins into trucks, they have to be separated out by hand, taking up a lot of extra time and causing more trips to the landfill, costing the city in labor and fuel.

If city public works employees find plastic bags in curbside bins, they will be leaving behind a green warning sticker on the bin to let residents know its contents couldn't be accepted. The stickers explain the city's police on plastic bags and contain a phone number residents can call with any questions.

The mayor's office says most grocery stores will accept plastic bags for recycling including Price Chopper on Glenwood Avenue, all three Weis Markets within the City, and Wegmans in Johnson City.

Earlier this year, legislation was passed to ban most single-use plastic bags in New York State. The ban goes into effect March 1, 2020.