Things You Should Never “Wish Cycle” in Recycling Bins

Reading the title, your first question is likely, “What does it mean to wish cycle?”

Well, wish cycling is something that most of us are guilty of; we have some trash in hand, pass a recycling bin, and ask ourselves if the item we need to throw away is recyclable or not. Without a clear answer, we put it in the recycling bin and hope for the best.

But this poses a major problem for companies that process the materials placed into these bins. While the system is designed to eliminate the need for sorting, the vast majority of bins collected will still need to be sorted through because people put non-recyclable materials in them. When these undesirable items make their way through, it compromises the recyclable materials, leading to them being placed in the landfill after all.

So instead of wish cycling, take some time to understand what items cannot be placed in those blue bins by reading below:

Plastic Bags

Now we know what you are thinking: we are supposed to recycle plastic bags. And this is true. But you need to seek out bins specifically for them. If placed into the regular recycling bins, they tend to jam the machines that process recyclable materials by getting wrapped around the rollers. Many processing plants spend hours a day cleaning plastic bags out of their machines, which takes away from time that could be used to process more items and keep our planet healthier. If you have shopping bags, Ziploc bags, and even newspaper bags to recycle, bring them on your next trip to the grocery store and leave them in the special bin.

Food Pouches

Eating on the go has become part of the American lifestyle, and as such, many companies are offering special packaging that allows you and your family to eat in the car, at sports practice, or wherever you might need. From the outside, these packages seem to be recyclable, usually looking like plastic from the outside. However, most are made from at least two materials, often a combination of plastic and aluminum. These are two materials that cannot be processed together and also cannot be separated.

Shredded Paper

This is an item that should be recycled, but it should not be placed directly into the usual bins. Because shredded paper is small, it can be difficult for the machines to process and separate from other materials. Instead, you should put it inside of a paper bag that you seal shut, making it easier for the machines to sort properly.

Glass Not from Bottles

Different types of glass melt at different temperatures. Your average recycling facility can only handle glass bottles, not other types of glass. If you have other types of glass you wish to recycle, call your nearest processing plant and ask them where you can drop it off.

Electronics and Batteries

This encompasses a lot, but it’s important to know that electronics of any sort and all batteries are items that cannot be processed at recycling facilities. Services that dispose of electronics tend to set up in the area a few times a month, allowing you to drop off your unneeded items. As for batteries, most grocery stores, super stores, and hardware stores have containers you can place old batteries in to have them disposed of safely.

Do You Still Have Questions?

We are happy to help you figure out how to handle your recycling. Simply give us a call and we will walk you through what you can and cannot put in those blue bins and where to take items that cannot be processed with the rest of the recycling.