Celebrate America Recycles Day Nov. 15 by learning more about recycling and keeping up with what materials are accepted in your city. Staff at Republic Services, Richardson’s recycler, say it’s important to not be a “wish-cycler,” i.e., tossing stuff in the recycling bag hoping it can be recycled, whether it can or not. Unfortunately, this type of mindset can be detrimental to recycling programs, as incorrect items can end up contaminating perfectly good recyclables and can potentially damage the equipment in recycling facilities—or worse, cause harm to employees.
Here are three common “wish-cycling” items to avoid putting into Richardson’s blue bags:
- Anything made of mixed materials—they are NOT recyclable. For example, plastic bottles with “pumps”; greeting cards with glitter and/or foil lettering; paper dividers with plastic index tabs; insulated paper coffee cups
- Anything smaller than a credit card (keep water bottle caps attached to the bottles when placing in recycling)
- Any “paper” that’s not office paper, newspaper or magazines—i.e. paper towels and tissue are NOT recyclable