recycling santa cruz
September 2019

Put an End to Wish-Cycling

Green Tips: September 2019

By Meredith Keet of The Zero Shop

Wish-cycling is a term used to describe the action of tossing those questionably recyclable items into the blue recycling bin in hope that they can be recycled. We’ve all had that moment when you’re holding some plastic object, maybe a child’s broken plastic toy or the twisty thing that seals the lid on your milk jug, and you wonder if it’s recyclable. You’re not sure, so you throw it into the recycling bin anyways and “wish” for it to be recycled.

recycling santa cruz

With a 9.1% recycling rate in 2015 that is expected to be dropping precipitously due to many countries now rejecting our plastics for recycling, it has never been more important for all of us to do our part in making sure that we are recycling correctly.

How? To start, rather than Wish-cycle, use the adage, “When in doubt, throw it out” to guide you.  If you aren’t sure if it’s recyclable, you are better off assuming it is not and should therefore be sent to the landfill. Sadly, simply wanting something to be recyclable does not make it so!

Here are a few more general recommendations for how to be a better recycler:

  • All items should be clean and dry. Greasy pizza boxes are not recyclable!
  • Compostable containers should be sent to the landfill or can be composted at home if you see writing on the item that indicates so. If you have curbside composting then check with your local facility to see if they are able to compost that type of compostware.
  • Know your numbers: Plastics #1 and #2 are the most readily recyclable of the plastics.
  • Get to know YOUR local recycling facility to better understand what they are able to recycle. The markets are changing and sometimes what they are able to accept can change.
  • Focus on precycling: before you purchase, opt for items that are unpackaged whenever possible. Items packaged in glass, aluminum, or paper are more reliably recycled and therefore your next best choices.

Come visit us at The Zero Shop in Capitola Village on the corner of Capitola Ave and Monterey!

www.thezeroshopsc.com

Follow us on Instagram @thezeroshopsc 

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