I want to have a recycling bin at home in addition to a trash bin.

Should I line my recycling bin with a trash bag and bag it up when it's full to toss in the dumpster's recycling bin? Or should I not line it with a bag and just dump my entire bin in the dumpster?

On one hand, the bag used to bag up the recycled materials itself isn't recycled. On the other hand, I heard that the trucks that transport the dumpster's material to recycling facilities often risk having debris fly out of their trucks when not bagged up.

  • 1
    Normally I'd say the less waste the better. But in your case: can you find out more about these trucks? Do they have close tops etc? And what materials will you be recycling? For instance here, depending on those things, the trucks compress everything and they're made so that nothing can fall out, so it really doesn't matter whether ther's lining or not.
    – stijn
    Jul 30, 2019 at 19:45
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    You could bag in paper as an alternative. What are the guidelines listed on your recycling facility’s website? That will dictate what your options are.
    – Maria
    Aug 23, 2019 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


Here in the UK we are specifically told not to bag recyclable products, as it makes it more difficult for them to be sorted on arrival at the recycling facility - plus the bag itself can't be recycled, and so contaminates the recycling load - which in the worst case can mean the entire truck-load being landfilled...

Our refuse trucks are enclosed though, so there's no chance of stuff flying out.


I put 'recyclable 'stuff in a plastic bin bag once and got a telling off from the dustman. I believe they make paper bags for so called 'recyclable 'rubbish but they're very expensive. I normally put mine in a cardboard box now. Shops sometimes leave cardboard boxes out for free. So far the dustman hasn't objected to this.

  • This is an anecdotal answer and not a generic solution. Where I live our recycler specifically asks people to put recyclable materials in a (recyclable) plastic bag.
    – THelper
    Aug 1, 2019 at 5:51
  • That is what I said. I got told off for putting it in a non recyclable bag.. Obviously it makes life easier for dustmen, not to have to empty out non recyclable bags as they do their rounds. It would slow them up a lot. However rules are different depending on where you are. I don't think there are any recyclable plastic bags in the UK
    – animartco
    Aug 2, 2019 at 15:02

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