Wishcycling, are we?
Many a times i have caught myself in front of the bins holding maybe a crinkly cellophane wrapping or a pizza box wondering whether it can go into the recycle bin. I amI With good intent, i put it into the recycle bin hoping that it would get recycled.
I just wish cycled!
It is the practice of tossing questionable items into the recycle bin hoping that it would somehow get recycled or if it can't be, recycling companies will filter them out. This good intent of mine is actually causing more harm than good.
Let's find out why!
1) Produces more waste: Most recycling companies have limited resources not allowing them to sort the waste physically. If there are lots of non recyclable items mixed with recyclables, the whole batch gets tossed.
2) Waste time and money: A non recyclable item can get caught in the recycling machine and cause the machine to malfunction or break. This requires additional time and resources to fix it.
While there is a whole lot to this, let's take a quick look at a few offenders that should not be in the recycle bin
- Food pouches/ boxes with grease/oil in them
- Items that could tangle - cords/cables/garden hoses
- Used paper towels and plates
- Shredded Paper
- Plastic Bags ( just don't use them) ,Films and wrappers
- Light Bulbs
- Aluminium Foil
- Wire Hangers
- Bubble wrap
- Drinking glasses
I know what you are thinking, let's see what can go into the recycle bin
- Cardboard including newspaper, paper, magazines
- Glass bottles and Jars
- Plastic Containers - Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream
- Aluminium Cans
- Cereal and Egg boxes
One thing you need to keep in mind is that contaminated items either end up being refused or reduce the quality of the recycled product.Before putting these items in, rinse them out. Also, never put your recyclable items in a plastic bag, they end up in a landfill.
While these are general rules, do check with your nearby recycling centre on what is acceptable for them.
Now that i know of this, i am a lot more mindful of what i put in the recycling bin.
And remember: When in doubt,throw it out. Don't throw it in your recycling. It hurts, but is better than the alternatives.
Let us not wishcycle again!