Changes are happening with recycling, and as I found out, it’s more complicated than most of us think. I just learned that now it’s okay to have just a little grease on a pizza box, but absolutely no plastic bags, plastic wrap or recycling in plastic bags. You’re asked to return the thin plastic bags to the grocery store.

Rejection stickers are being slapped on recycling bins that contain prohibited materials, a list of which can be found at the City of New Bedford’s recycling website.

You might think that wire clothes hangers would be recyclable, but they’re not. Metal food and beverage cans are okay, but you have to completely empty and rinse them. Clean mixed paper, newspapers, magazines and boxes must be emptied and flattened. And if you have used clothing, find a donation drop-off.

A big no-no is to take rejected items from your orange bin, put them into a plastic bag and then toss them into the blue bin. If you’re asking why all the changes now, blame China and their National Sword Policy.

The state recently created a website, with a search tool called Recyclopedia.

ABC Disposal CEO Michael Camara will join me Friday, September 7 at 8 a.m. with more information.

Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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