Bagged Recyclables Not Accepted News Slider
July 20, 2023

Recycling Reminder: Bagged Recyclables Are Not Accepted

The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) would like to remind residents that recyclables that are in plastic bags are not accepted at the Utica and Rome EcoDrop or through curbside collection. The ONLY exception to this rule is shredded paper, which should always be placed in a plastic bag when being recycled.

Why aren’t plastic bags accepted for recycling?

Plastic bags fall under the category of plastic films, which are not accepted for recycling through our system. Plastic films get stuck in the machinery at the recycling center very easily and require a lot of time and effort to remove. Also included in this category are grocery bags, plastic wrap and Ziploc bags. Stretchy plastic films can be brought to participating retailers for recycling.

What about bags that say they can be recycled?

Don’t trust the triangle! Manufacturers of packaging products like plastic bags label their products as being recyclable, however they do not always consider local recycling centers. Although these bags may be made with a type of plastic that is recyclable, that does not mean that they can be recycled through our system. Triangles and Resin Identification Codes (the numbers and abbreviations that go with the triangles) do not indicate whether an item is recyclable or not, instead they are just showing what kind of plastic they are.

What plastic items are recyclable then?

Our recycling center is able to process all plastic bottles, cups and containers, regardless of what kind of plastic they are made out of. There are a few exceptions to this rule which are Styrofoam, prescription medication bottles and motor oil bottles. A full list of items that are accepted for recycling can be found on our website at You can also visit to get specific disposal instructions for any items that you are unsure of.

Recycle Right!

Recyclables need to be mixed together loosely whether you are bringing them to our Utica or Rome EcoDrop or setting them out at the curb. They should not be in any kind of bag even if the bag says its recyclable. Placing your recyclables loosely in a container helps ensure that they will be properly sorted and recycled.

If you have any questions on how to bring recyclables to our EcoDrop facilities or how to set your recyclables out to the curb, please contact the Authority at 315-733-1224 or