With the amount of Amazon packages that get delivered to 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 in which some Amazon items are delivered are bad for machines at the recycling plants. They might seem like something you should recycle, but apparently this type of packaging is causing more harm than good.

New Bedford Recycling took to Facebook to address the situation:

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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.

The important takeaway is to know what you can and cannot 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 is acceptable.

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

The million-dollar question: What should you do with those plastic envelopes?

New Bedford Recycling says, "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 and benches."

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