Cobb County's Hefty Energy Bag Program

Sophie-Ann McCulloch

COBB COUNTY, GA - To support the current recycling efforts, Cobb County launched the Hefty Energy Bag program that allows residents to collect plastic that is hard to recycle at the curbside and turn them into valuable resources.

Through this program, plastics are diverted away from landfills, fossil fuel dependence is reduced, efficiency at recycling facilities is increased, and the quality of other recycled materials is improved. Bringing a more circular plastics economy and a more sustainable future, Hefty Energy Bag serves as a significant step towards these goals.

Participating households put their hard-to-recycle plastics in the orange bags provided by Hefty Energy Bag. As soon as the bags are full, residents put them in their curbside recycling cart or bin for pick-up during their regularly scheduled pick-up day.

They are collected together with the regular recycling material by the participants' current haulers and sent to a local material recovery facility (MRF). In the next step, the MRF bales the bags and sends them to a locally advanced recycling facility. The facility turns plastics into valuable resources.

You can purchase additional bags from Kroger stores or Hefty directly. Developed by Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products, the Hefty Energy Bag program collects and transforms previously hard-to-recycle plastics at the curbside into resources.

As a result of the program, fewer plastics end up in landfills, which has long-term benefits for the environment and the economy.

Cobb County was awarded a $50,000 grant from Dow and administered by Keep America Beautiful in 2017 to implement the program in the community. The program was launched in November 2018, making it available to American Disposal customers. Over 20,000 local residents expressed interest by mid-2019, and these expressed interest included American Disposal, B Green Services, Custom Disposal, and Pickers Waste Service, Trash Taxi, and many more.

Cobb County has been awarded a second Dow Energy Bag program grant for 2020 in order to expand the program.

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