Recycling Know No’s Number 8 – Rigid Plastic Blister Packs



By Gene Kalb

Rigid plastic (top) should go into the trash, the plastics below may be recycled

You know them, and if you’re like me, you hate them.  Those packages that are so hard to open you often question whether what’s inside is worth it.  Well, they’re even worse than you thought.  According to Recylopedia,  those rigid plastic containers are to be put in the trash.  I have to admit to a little confusion on this one.  According to Google the correct term for these are called rigid clamshell packaging.  On Recylopedia they call something else clamshells.  So…. Here’s my attempt to clarify.  The rigid plastic is (the stuff that is hard to open) goes in the trash.  The plastic “clamshells” that food comes in can be recycled.

On another note,  A reminder that this column is about what you can “curbside” Recycle in your grey bin.  As the Mass Recycling web site points out there are alternatives to putting things in the trash that cannot go in your bin.  Plastic bags, for instance, CAN be recycled at both Whole Foods and Stop and Shop locally.

The Mass DEP also has a site called “Beyond the Bin” ~

And finally, this Saturday, May 3rd,  the town Of Bedford is having our own Spring Recycling Event.   

About Recycling Know-Nos

The Bedford Citizen has teamed up with Ed McGrath from the Bedford Department of Public Works in a new segment called “Know-Nos of recycling” to explain what happens once you put something in the recycle bin. We’ll also explain why it’s so important to only put the correct stuff in your recycle bins.  If you have questions, please send them along.

ICYMI: Links to earlier columns

  1. Don’t Bag Recyclables
  2. Batteries
  3. Cartons
  4. Pizza Boxes
  5. Styrofoam
  6. Plastics
  7. Recyclopedia

Recycling is good.  It helps the environment, helps the town, and makes you feel you’re doing your part.  That being said, not all things are easy to recycle, no matter what you may think.  Putting your Styrofoam coffee cup in the bin might feel right, but is actually detrimental and costly to us in Bedford.  There are other things that fall into the category of “should” be recycled, but without understanding what happens “downstream,” your wishful thinking could end up causing more trouble.  You may not have been aware that all recycled material gets sorted, and one of the most cost-effective sorts happens at your bin. Understanding what happens after your recycling bucket has been collected can help make that downstream work easier.  Accordingly, we are embarking on a new series that hopefully will answer the “whys “ and “whats” of recycling here in Bedford.

Correction: May 3, 2019 to reflect this segment of Recycling Know No;s ccorrect author, Gene Kalb


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