Plastic Bag Swap a Success!

posted 5/9/2018

We were pleasantly bombarded with plastic bags during the month of April, more than 3,168 pounds of them! Considering the average plastic grocery bag weighs .01 pounds, that means residents turned in more than 210,000 plastic grocery bags! 

During the campaign, residents were encouraged to swap plastic grocery bags for a reusable grocery tote. The city that collected the most bags per capita would win a new park bench made from recycled plastic bags! 

 The cities had a lot of fun with the swap and really got into the spirit of the competition. The City of Alleman claimed the per capita victory for the second year in a row by turning in almost one pound per 443 residents. 


However, to recognize all the cities’ enthusiasm for the cause, we decided to award a second bench to the city that collected the largest weight overall. Throughout the campaign, the cities of Bondurant and Grimes were neck and neck. Then, the last week of April, the city of Urbandale got a big boost when Olmsted Elementary collected 273 pounds in one week!  


After the final tallies were in, Grimes was declared the winner for overall weight with a total collection of 499.5 pounds! 


Although we had a lot of fun collecting plastic bags during the campaign in April, plastic grocery bags are not accepted in your Curb It! recycling cart. Plastic bags can only be recycled by taking them back to grocery stores or other retailers. Hopefully you’ll like your reusable tote so much, you can phase out plastic grocery bags all together! 


Total Weight Collected by city: 

Alleman: 320.1 pounds
Altoona: 18 pounds
Ankeny: 16.93 pounds
Bondurant: 379.5 pounds
Carlisle: 149.05 pounds
Clive: 231.97 pounds
Des Moines: 116.13 pounds

Grimes: 499.5 pounds

Hartford: 1 pound

Johnston: 168.04 pounds

Mingo: 16.68 pounds

Mitchellville: 31 pounds

Norwalk: 118.39 pounds

Pleasant Hill: 30.18 pounds

Polk City: 199.89 pounds

Prairie City: 244.05 pounds

Runnells: 116 pounds

Urbandale: 380.05 pounds

West Des Moines: 75.46 pounds

Windsor Heights: 52.90 pounds

For more information about safe, smart disposal and recycling options, visit or call 515.244.0021.