Wish-Cycling: What It Is and How to Avoid It?

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment, but many people fall into the trap of “wish-cycling.” Wish-cycling is the act of putting items into the recycling bin that the person hopes or wishes can be recycled, even if they are unsure whether or not it is actually recyclable. This can lead to contamination of the recycling stream and can ultimately cause more harm than good.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what wish-cycling is, why it’s a problem, and how to avoid it.

  • What is Wish-Cycling?

    Wish-cycling occurs when someone puts items in the recycling bin without knowing if they can actually be recycled. People often assume that anything made of plastic or paper can be recycled, but this is not always the case. Some items, such as plastic bags, straws, and coffee cups, cannot be recycled in many communities. These items can get tangled in the machinery at recycling facilities, causing damage and slowing down the process.

  • Why is Wish-Cycling a Problem?

    Wish-cycling can cause contamination of the recycling stream, which can ultimately lead to more items being sent to landfill. When non-recyclable items are mixed in with recyclable items, it makes it difficult for recycling facilities to sort and process materials. This can lead to entire batches of materials being rejected and sent to landfill, even if some of the items in the batch were actually recyclable.

    Wish-cycling can also be costly for recycling facilities. When non-recyclable items get mixed in with recyclable materials, it can damage equipment and slow down the sorting process. This can lead to higher costs for recycling facilities, which can ultimately be passed on to consumers.

  • How to Avoid Wish-Cycling

    Avoiding wish-cycling is easy if you follow a few simple steps. The first step is to know what items can be recycled in your community. Check with your local recycling program to find out which items are accepted and which ones are not. Many communities have specific guidelines for recycling, so it’s important to know what those guidelines are.

    The next step is to properly prepare recyclable items. This means removing any non-recyclable parts, such as lids, labels, and plastic wrap. Rinse out food containers and bottles to remove any residue. Flatten cardboard boxes and paper bags to save space in the recycling bin.

    It’s also important to avoid putting items in the recycling bin that are not recyclable. Some common items that should not be recycled include plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, and pizza boxes. These items can be recycled in some communities, but not in others, so it’s important to check with your local recycling program.

    Finally, it’s important to reduce the amount of waste you produce in the first place. This can be done by choosing products with less packaging, using reusable containers and bags, and buying products made from recycled materials.

Wish-cycling is a common problem that can cause contamination of the recycling stream and lead to more items being sent to landfill. By following a few simple steps, you can help to reduce contamination and ensure that your recyclables are being processed correctly. Remember to know what items are accepted in your community, properly prepare recyclable items, avoid putting non-recyclable items in the recycling bin, and reduce the amount of waste you produce in the first place. By doing these things, you can help to build a more sustainable future.

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Published On: May 1st, 2023Categories: Informative, Plastic Recycling

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