With the amount of Amazon packages that get delivered to the front steps of New Bedford residents daily, I'm curious how many people recycle properly.

I was "today years old" when I learned that those plastic bubble envelopes were bad for machines at the recycling plants. They might seem like something you might recycle, but this type of packaging is causing more problems than good.

New Bedford Recycling took to Facebook over a week ago on January 12th to address the situation with proper recycling tips to avoid complications at the recycling plant.

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"The blue and white Amazon.com bubble mailers should never go in your recycling cart. Since they are flat, they get mixed with the paper at the recycling sorting facility. This causes problems for the paper mill trying to make new paper.

Here's what to do with them: They can be dropped off at some grocery stores along with clean & dry plastic grocery bags, case wraps, bread bags, Ziploc bags, and more. If that's not an option, place them in the trash." -New Bedford Recycling

The important takeaway is to know what you can and can not recycle, especially in New Bedford. Every town and city is different when it comes to what's recyclable, so being in the know will save you the hassle in the long run. New Bedford's Facilities and Fleet Management department has compiled a list and search engine to answer your questions as to "what should you recycle".

Also- when in doubt, check out this website designed for Massachusetts residents that will give the gist of what's suitable for recycling bins and what should go straight to the trash instead.

So, the million-dollar question is: What should you do with those plastic envelopes? According to New Bedford Recycling: "They can be dropped off at the grocery store bins for plastic film-like shopping bags. A company called Trex buys a lot of this material. They mix it with sawdust to make plastic lumber used in decks & benches."

Upcycling is the future of plastics and what will hopefully and potentially save our planet from being covered in it. For more information on how you can make a difference in your community just by recycling properly, feel free to message them via Facebook or email at trashandrecycling@newbedford-ma.gov

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