In Greensboro and High Point, there’s been a lot of confusion over the years about how to get rid of trash, recyclables, bulk items and yard waste.

However, on Monday, May 22, the City of High Point made one thing perfectly clear to residents. They can no longer use plastic bags for yard waste collection and disposal – effective Saturday, July 1.

Recently, the High Point City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s solid waste ordinances to include the plastic ban, starting in July.  (There is a grace period until September 1, so people in the city should be relatively safe from the yard waste police until then.)

The May 22 announcement stated, “The use of plastic bags poses many issues to City collection and disposal staff and equipment, long-term viability and significant environmental impacts. By prohibiting plastic bags in yard waste, the Ingleside Compost Facility will be able to produce a zero-waste, completely organic compost and topsoil for our residents and commercial users.”

According to city officials, outlawing plastic bags for yard waste disposal also helps the city remain consistent with other local governments as they prepare for coming North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality permit requirements.

According to High Point’s new ordinance, residents must put their yard waste at the curb in a city-approved rollout cart, or in paper bags, or in secured bundles that weigh 50 pounds or less and are no more than four feet long.

After Sept. 1, High Point crews won’t pick up yard waste in plastic bags – and repeated use of plastic bags may result in a $250 fine for the culprit.

However, city officials state that the “primary focus is to educate residents rather than penalize them.”