Are you Recycling or Wish-Cycling?
What is wish-cycling you may ask? Imagine: you’re standing in front of one of those trash set-ups with multiple options, something like ‘Paper’, ‘Plastic’, and ‘Trash’ and you’re not certain where your item goes. In hopes that your item can be recycled, you add it to paper or plastic container. It turns out your item is not recyclable.
Wish-cycling, although it is super innocent and filled with good intention, is a huge problem. One non-recyclable or super dirty item in the recycling can result in the entire container of recyclables going straight to the landfill OR clog up a recycle-sorting machine, costing companies a lot of time and money (making recycling less economically viable). If you wish-cycle at home in NYC, you could be dooming your entire buildings recycling containers. I mean WHAT?!?!? How did we get here?!?!?
Ok, here’s the good news. You can stop wish-cycling and start recycling pretty easily.
Check the label
Read your local municipal website to find out what is accepted and what is not in your area
CLEAN your recyclable plastic
Consider finding a local place to compost food scraps and paper items. We freeze ours and then carry it to the local farmers market 1x a week
Commonly Wish-cycled Items:
Plastic Bags, Food Pouches, Chip Bags, Snack Bar Wrappers, Straws, Greasy Takeaway containers (gotta wash it…so much for no dishes lol), Oily Pizza Boxes (too dirty, COMPOST), Loose Bottle Caps (must be on bottle), Un-rinsed Bottles (again, gotta clean them), Shredded Paper (COMPOST), Broken Glass, Ceramics,Electronics/Batteries/Extension Cords