With a potential ban on plastic shopping bags in Madison County, calls to the NewsChannel 9 Your Stories line have people asking why a similar ban has not been proposed in Onondaga County.
Right now, there is no such ban in Onondaga County and County Executive Joanie Mahoney says she does not have plans for one.
With a focus on area businesses, Onondaga County Legislature Chair Ryan McMahon also says legislators are not looking at proposing a similar ban.
“We have no interest in putting additional regulations on the private sector,” McMahon said. “If the grocers and other businesses believe this is something they want to do I am sure we will hear form them.”
In Madison County, it’s where the bags end up that’s causing controversy.
Plastic bags along with all the other trash collected will end up in the landfill located in Canastota where it will sit for years.
Madison County Recycling Coordinator Mary Bartlett and Solid Waste Director Jim Zecca believe that upwards of 12.5 million bags are used each year throughout the county.
In Onondaga County, garbage is hauled to Jamesville to the trash burning plant run by Covanta. There, trash is burned and turned into energy that can provide power for up to 30,000 homes a year.
An OCRRA representative says that there are times when plastic bags make their way to the recycling plant, which is why it’s best to re-read the text on the side of your blue bin. Plastic bags cannot be placed in the blue bin and only paper bags can be used to recycle products.
Across the state, clean plastic shopping bags can be taken back to grocery stores and big box stores for another form of recycling.