Plastic Bags Can Not Be Recycled Through Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority

By Lynne Beauchamp,

Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA) representatives want to get the word out that plastic bags cannot be processed at its recycling facility.

According to Jason Maciejewski, Dexter Township Representative to WWRA and WWRA Board Chairperson, many are bringing recyclable items in plastic bags (grocery store plastic bags and garbage bags) and dropping the plastic bags containing these items into the bins. The processing facility on Werkner Road in Chelsea separates the recyclables, however, the plastic bags end up getting caught in the system.

“There comes a point when too many of these plastic bags end up in the ‘teeth’ of the system, we have to shut the line down and then have a couple of guys climb out onto this machinery” said Maciejewski. “With razor blades, they cut out all of the plastic bags, garden hoses and things like that that get hung up in the teeth.”

Maciejewski said this takes time and puts the line workers in an unfavorable situation.

WWRA, according to Maciejewski, provides service to Dexter Township, Lyndon Township, City of Chelsea, Lima Township, Webster Township and Manchester Township and has drop off facilities within these locations.

Dexter Township Supervisor, Harley Rider, said the Dexter Township WWRA drop off site is one of the busiest and most used sites within the WWRA, but is also being used for more then what its intended.

Rider said he has personally talked with residents about not putting the plastic bags in the drop off sites. He added while some facilities may be able to recycle this type of plastic, the WWRA single stream system cannot. Rider also added that occasionally trash and non-recyclable items are being dropped off at this recycling drop site and that is not serving the purpose of a recycling facility.

For a complete list of WWRA acceptable and non-acceptable recycling items, visit

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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