City of Madison Logo

The City of Madison now requires residents to recycle certain clean bags. These bags can no longer be put in your tan refuse cart but must be recycled. You can recycle the bags in your green recycling cart by following the instructions below. You can also recycle your bags at one of the retailers on our list.


Note: You can still use plastic bags for trash. If you are using plastic grocery bags for your trash you can continue to do that.

It is important that all bags must be:

  1. Empty
  2. Clean
  3. Dry
What Plastic Bags Do I Recycle?
The City of Madison program accepts the following types of plastic bags for recycling:

  • Grocery, Retail, and Drug Store Bags
  • Newspaper Delivery Bags
  • Dry Cleaning Bags
  • Softener Salt Bags
  • Ice Cube Bags
  • All Clean Bags Labeled #2 and #4
  • Plastic film wrapping from plastic water and beverage bottle casing
  • Large pillow packing bubbles

Do NOT Recycle
  • Food Wrap
  • Food Packaging (meat wrap, prepackaged / produce bags, etc.)
  • Dark Green or Black Trash Bags
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Drawstring Bags
    Note: Drawstring bags can be recycled if the drawstrings are removed.

Put Plastic Bags In Your Green Recycling Cart

Loose plastic bags will get tangled in the sorting equipment at our recycling center. Plastic bags MUST be put inside a plastic bag. Tie the bag of bags shut and put it in your green recycling cart. It's best to use a plastic grocery/retail bag for your bags.

Donate Plastic Grocery Bags To Food Pantries

  • Centro Hispano: 810 W. Badger Rd. (608) 255-8471
  • St. Vincent DePaul: 1309 Culmen St. (608) 257-0919
  • Goodman-Atwood Community Center: 149 Waubesa St (608) 241-1574

City of Madison Self Help Drop-Off Centers

  • East: 4602 Sycamore Avenue
  • South: 1501 W. Badger Road
  • West: 402 South Point Road

Other Plastic Bag Recycling Sites

  • Capital Center Foods: 111 N. Broom Street
  • Copps Food Store: 3010 Cahill Main
  • Copps Food Store: 620 S. Whitney Way
  • Copps Food Store: 1312 S. Park Street
  • Copps Food Store: 2502 Shopko Drive
  • Copps Food Store: 6540 Monona Drive
  • Copps Food Store: 3650 University Avenue
  • Copps Food Store: 261 Junction Road
  • Copps Food Store: 6655 McKee Road
  • HyVee: 3801 E. Washington Avenue
  • Kohl's Department Store: 2602 East Springs Drive
  • Kohl's Department Store: 7401 West Towne Way
  • Metcalfe's Market (Sentry): 726 N. Midvale Blvd
  • Pierce's Northside Market: 2817 N. Sherman Avenue
  • Sentry Foods: 4602 Cottage Grove Road
  • Trader Joe's: 1810 Monroe Street
  • Wal Mart: 7202 Watts Road
  • Wal Mart: 4198 Nakoosa Trail
  • Whole Foods Market: 3313 University Avenue
  • Woodman's: 3817 Milwaukee Street
  • Woodman's: 711 S. Gammon Road