What's up with that?
Why do stores still sell blue bag recycling bags?
Q I thought the city scrapped the Blue Bag recycling program, but the Jewel in my ’hood still stocks boxes of those blue plastic sacks. Are they just leftovers from the trashed program or is there something I don’t know? —Bag Man, Uptown
A In May 2008, the city did, in fact, junk Blue Bag, which relied on the suspect “co-collection” method. City waste haulers tossed full blue bags into trucks with the rest of the garbage. Later, workers at materials recycling and recovery facilities had to fish out the blue bags, tear them open and separate, say, the glass bottles from the plastic ones. Residents were also required to purchase the privately manufactured and distributed bags to participate in city recycling. “Any blue bags remaining in the stores were left over from the program and we are having them removed,” says Jewel spokeswoman Karen May. She had even less to say about why it’s taken more than two years to de-stock the item—apparently that’s “internal information.” But residents serviced by private waste haulers (which account for pickup of 25 percent of the city’s waste, according to Department of Streets and Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith) might still be buying the bags; certain companies require recycling bags be either clear or blue. So despite the aborted city program, Smith says there remains “a potentially large market for blue bags.”
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