Millennium Recycling No Longer Accepting Plastic Bags

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – On average, a plastic bag is only used for 12 minutes.  Millennium was one of the few recycling companies in the U.S. that accepted plastic bags.  The material is considered a “high-cost item” because of the labor it requires to process.

“Out of our accepted items list, that is the only item that we have to (actually) physically pull out by hand. All the other materials that we accept and can recycle, our equipment (actually) automatically sorts those out,” says Marissa Begley of Millennium Recycling.

Millennium says they are no longer seeing a demand for plastic bags from their buyers who re-purpose or re-use them.  So they say “it no longer makes sense to collect them.”  The company also says the bags are a problem to begin with because they wrap around the equipment, which slows down the processing line. In fact, the company even says they can’t pay people to get rid of plastic bags.

Begley explains, “There was a cost to recycle it and we were able to get rid of it. now with the market, there’s no market for this stuff. we can’t even hardly pay for it. no body is accepting it.”

There’s one exception.  Shredded paper should still be put in plastic bags when being recycled.  Other items should be loose in the recycling bin.  Millennium Recycling hopes this give people the idea of using more reusable bags when they go grocery shopping.

“You can imagine all of the 30 or 50 bags that you get in that one trip,” states Begley.  “How much waste is being generated every single time a family or just one person is going to the grocery store?”

There are other drop-off locations where clean plastic bags are accepted like Hy-Vee, Target and Sunshine Foods.  Visit Millennium Recycling to find more about those locations and requirements.

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