Frequently Asked Questions

Why are changes being made to the program?

The program was set up as a pilot program. Over the last year, we have learned some things and are prepared to move forward with a permanent program.

Why is Hefty ReNew being added to the program?

Hefty ReNew has been recycling hard to recycle plastics for several years. They are partners with Dow Corp. and support the development of new uses for plastics. They have multiple end markets for the materials including ByFusion. 

Tucson residents have been enthusiastic supporters of the ByFusion efforts and have been dropping off much more than ByFusion can process. Working with Hefty ReNew will ensure that ByFusion receives as much material as they can handle, but also ensures that excess materials can be sent to other end markets.

What changes will residents see?

We are asking residents to use Hefty ReNew bags to drop off materials. Hefty ReNew bags are available in Fry’s and Walmart in Tucson. List of store locations


What goes into the orange bin?

Hard-to-recycle plastics only. ByFusion has seen an increase in contamination and has asked that materials dropped off in orange bins be made up of single-use plastics. The drop-off program is intended for residential use only. 

In addition to the flexible plastics used by ByFusion, the Hefty ReNew program will accept polystyrene (Styrofoam™) such as packing peanuts, foam packing blocks, and foam clamshells.

  • Film plastic (bags, plastic wrap, plastic packaging)
  • Single-use plastic utensils
  • Straws
  • Cutlery
  • Bubble wrap
  • Air pouches
  • Styrofoam™ (clamshells, peanuts, blocks) 

What goes into my curbside recycling blue bin?

Any container, bottle, or jug that is a Number 1, 2, or 5 plastic is accepted in the blue bins. These materials are in great demand in the U.S. and are widely used. This does include clamshells.

  • Plastics #1, #2, & #5 (bottles, jugs, food containers
  • Metal cans
  • Paper
  • Cardboard

Plastic bottles, jugs and containers (#1, #2 & #5) should be put in blue barrels or blue dumpsters at Neighborhood Recycling Centers.


Is it true that until July 1 we can continue to bring it in any type of plastic bag?

Yes, any clear bag. Please do not drop off materials in a black bag. We need to be able to inside see the contents of bag. After July 1, we ask residents to use the Hefty ReNew bags. This will allow us to reduce the contamination we are seeing at the drop off sites.

Will ByFusion continue to get as much as they can process, while waiting to have their full facility go up in a year? Once their facility is up, will they or Hefty get first pick?

Hefty and ByFusion have entered into an agreement where ByFusion will have first right of refusal for material collected in Tucson. This agreement will remain in place when the ByFusion facility is opened and running in Tucson.

ByFusion allowed the following items, is that now true of the Hefty bags or not?

  • Toiletries, like toothpaste and lotion tubes - NO
  • Foil lined chip bags - NO
  • Plastic didn’t have to be cleaned, is this still the case? YOU DON’T NEED TO WASH, BUT IT SHOULD BE EMPTY AND DRY. 
  • Prescription bottles and caps – YES 


How does the recycling process impact those in the county? Will the bins still be available in the future post roll out of the program for county people?

Currently, the program is drop-off only. The City will only set up drop-off sites within City limits, however, there is nothing to prohibit county residents from using the drop-off sites. If the Hefty Renew bags become acceptable in curbside collection, the City will only be able to accept from City customers. It is likely that a few drop-off sites will continue to be available for residents who live in apartments. This would allow for county residents to continue to use the drop-off sites.

What is acceptable in the Hefty ReNew Bags?

All bags should be empty and dry. They do not have to be washed. 

  • Film plastic – plastic bags, produce bags, plastic packaging from bagged salad or vegetables, candy and chip wrappers (no foil lining), bread bags, cereal box liners, frozen fruit or vegetable bags, bubble wrap, air pouches 
  • Other plastic – prescription bottles, plastic utensils/cutlery, straws, cd cases, dvd cases 

  • Foam – packing peanuts, small foam blocks, foam egg cartons, foam clamshells, foam cups and plates 

When ByFusion started they wanted us to use clear plastic bags. Can I continue to use them?

No. We are asking residents to use the Hefty Renew bags effective July 1st. This will help to reduce contamination and support quality control.


Please define and give examples of industrial commercial plastics that are a contaminant.

Commercial and industrial plastics that are considered contamination include car parts (from body shop), PVC sheets that come from commercial printer, PVC piping, film plastic from commercial printer. These materials were coming in large quantities which negatively impacts the recyclability of household plastics.

Are plastic laundry baskets, lawn furniture, buckets considered industrial?

No, however, these would be acceptable in the blue bin program


Will Republic, which serves our HOA, take the Hefty bags when they start in Tucson?

If the program moves to curbside containers, it will be up to the private haulers to decide to accept the bags.

Do horse grain bags fall into pet bags?

Yes. If the package has a recycling triangle with 4-7 it is acceptable in the Hefty ReNew Bags.

Are the trash bags you want us to use made from recycled material?

The Hefty ReNew Bags are made with 20% recycled content.


Why can’t clear plastic bags containing the same plastic be used?

The Hefty ReNew bags will support quality control and minimize processing costs.


Is ByFusion still in the picture?

Yes. Hefty ReNew and ByFusion are long-time partners and have entered into an agreement where ByFusion will have priority for materials generated in Tucson. The excess that ByFusion cannot process will be sent to other end users.


How does putting it in the orange bags prevent contamination?

We cannot guarantee that people will not contaminate just as we can’t guarantee they won’t contaminate blue bins. It is expected that people who go to the trouble of purchasing and dropping off the materials will want to recycle correctly.


Why is Hefty sending the plastic?

Hefty works with multiple end markets including ByFusion. They will pay for the processing of the material and transport to ByFusion and other end markets.

Does the City have a fully executed contract with ByFusion or not?


What will happen to all the plastic at the Ward 6 and other drop-off sites?

After July 1, materials in the Hefty ReNew bags will be baled and transported to end users including ByFusion. Currently there is a substantial amount of plastics stored and a decision hasn’t been made about what will be done. Contamination has made these materials unusable by both ByFusion and Hefty ReNew.


#1,2 and 5 items smaller than a baseball aren’t supposed to go in blue bins, we have been told. Is that correct, and if so, can they go in orange bags?

Yes. Products smaller than a tennis ball will not make it through the local recycling facility. These can go in the Hefty ReNew bags.


ByFusion didn’t require items to be clean, does Hefty?

All packaging placed in Hefty Renew bags should be empty. You don’t have to wash but most packaging should only have trace amounts of food.

Can toothpaste and ointment/lotion tubes go in orange bags?

Yes. Once they are empty.

Since #3 items aren’t to be included, do they go in blue bins or regular trash?

#3 plastics should go in trash.


Are small bits and pieces of random household plastic included or is the guideline “ if in doubt, throw it out”?

Small random household plastics should be fine in Hefty bags.


Did I understand Hefty to say with at least Tucson orange bags, they would go only to mechanical recycling and not kiln fuel, or would ours be the 76% to mechanical as stated in the overall averages for all Hefty programs?

Hefty ReNew will prioritize materials to go to ByFusion. Excess will be sent to other end users with a priority to mechanical recycling.


Just to confirm, foil lined bags are not to be included?

Yes. Foil lined bags should be thrown in trash.


Some pet food bags seem to be a combination of papery material with waxed paper type lining, exclude those?

Look for recycling arrows. If it is a 4-7 it should go in Hefty ReNew bags.

What study was done on the ByFusion blocks? Stability overtime? Insulation properties? Possible “toxic” fumes or byproducts?

ByBlock Testing & Stability: For information, you may take a look at our FAQs on our website.


Where can we order blocks?

ByBlocks are available in two ways 

1) Through ByFusion's website. Who sells to general contractors on a project basis.  

2) ByFusion works directly with companies, associations, and homeowners on their design ideas and provide them with ByBlock, fasteners, materials (in some cases), and the installation/assembly procedures for their design. Contact ByFusion on their website.