Newspaper Bags Curbside Must Be Clean and Dry If newspaper bags are dirty or wet, they cannot be recycled. Water and other materials contaminate plastic film recycling. If bags are dirty or wet, clean and dry them or put them in the garbage. Ways to Reduce antb / Shutterstock.com Go Digital Most papers are offered online, so it’s easy to switch your subscription from paper to digital. Buy From the Newsstand Buy a newspaper from a stand instead of having it delivered so there is no bag. Ways to Reuse Use for Dog Waste Before buying brand new plastic bags for your dog, use bags such as newspaper bags that you already have on hand.