Wish-Cycling is just Trash with Good Thoughts

Text:  Wish-cycling is just trash with good thoughts.  Photo:  A water bottle and Styrofoam washed up on a beach.
Download Image


We've said it time and again - just because something has this symbol "♻️" - known as chasing arrows - on it, DOES NOT mean the item is recyclable! When you throw something in the recycling bin it DOES NOT MAGICALLY BECOME RECYCLABLE! Instead, you have thrown trash into a recycling bin - contaminating actual recyclable materials. This is called "wish-cycling" and it's w for recycling.

"Wish-cycling is putting something in the recycling bin and hoping it will be recycled, even if you have no evidence to confirm this assumption.

Hope is central to wish-cycling. People may not be sure the system works, but they choose to believe that if they recycle an object, it will become a new product rather than being buried in a landfill, burned, or dumped." (Perspective by Jessica Heiges and Kate O'Neill, link below)
Items you wish-cycle can contaminate a load of recyclables or get stuck, tangled, or wrapped in the recycling processing machinery. This can cause expensive - and potentially dangerous - shutdowns in the recycling process.

1. ASK your transfer station operator whether or not an item is recyclable
2. When in doubt, throw it out!

Find out more about wish-cycling: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/what-is-wishcycling/2022/01/21/82fe0486-792d-11ec-bf97-6eac6f77fba2_story.html

#nrrarecycles #nrrarecycleright #recycleright

This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service. Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc., is an equal opportunity provider and employer.