New recycling option for Gwinnett begins Friday

Gwinnett County will begin partnering with Hefty on Friday to collect hard-to-recycle items such as plastic bags, foam egg cartons and plastic dinnerware. (Courtesy Gwinnett Recycles)

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Gwinnett County will begin partnering with Hefty on Friday to collect hard-to-recycle items such as plastic bags, foam egg cartons and plastic dinnerware. (Courtesy Gwinnett Recycles)

Gwinnett County residents can recycle their takeout boxes, grocery containers and other hard-to-recycle items with special orange bags starting Friday.

The county will partner with Hefty, the well-known maker of trash bags, to allow residents to recycle plastic types #4 through #7, which includes items like plastic packaging and wraps, plastic dinnerware, foam products and plastic bags.

Residents can purchase special Hefty bags from Kroger or online through the EnergyBag program to recycle these items. Anyone who chooses to use the bags will have to drop them off in Lawrenceville, as they cannot be placed in normal curbside recycling bins.

Plastic types #1 and #2 — water and soda bottles, milk jugs, juice containers, shampoo bottles and detergent holders — will still be accepted in curbside bins. Items placed in an orange bag should be clean and dry without food or liquid.

Other metro Atlanta counties, including Cobb County, participate in the Hefty EnergyBag program. Its purpose is to help to divert plastics from landfills, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, increase efficiency at recycling facilities and improve the quality of other recycled materials, according to a news release.

Gwinnett residents can drop off their bags at the Lawrenceville location of WestRock — located at 384 Maltbie Street — from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Only the special orange bags will be accepted at the WestRock site.

Items not accepted in the bags include batteries, electronics, food, liquid, coffee grounds, cans, glass, plastic bottles, paper, cartons, boxes, medical products, hazardous waste, hoses, tube, rope, foil or aluminum, as well as plastic types #1, #2 and #3.


Recyclable items through Hefty EnergyBag program

  • Plastic packaging without foil lining
    • See-through chip bags, snack food bags, plastic pet food bags, fresh or frozen vegetable and fruit bags, salad bags, shredded cheese packages, cheese stick packages, see-through granola and energy bar wrappers, see-through candy wrappers, see-through stand-up pouches, pudding cups, yogurt tubs, butter or margarine tubs, sour cream tubs, cereal box liners, dry mix liners and cookie or cracker box liners
  • Plastic bags and wraps
    • Plastic air pillow packs, plastic bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, plastic food wrap and plastic storage bags
  • Foam products
    • Cups, plates, bowls, to-go boxes, packing peanuts, egg cartons and block packaging
  • Plastic dinnerware
    • Plastic straws and stirrers, utensils, colored cups, plates, bowls and rigid plastic clear glasses