Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Watch Out for "Wishcycling"

 Wishcycling... This isn't "when you wish upon a star" tied up with a bike trip.

(Actually, I'm getting an image of ET from the 1982 movie air-bike through my mind... Yikes!!! That just dated me at 35 years ago!!!)

Are you a hopeful recycler?
Do you think, given what your eco-side knows, that things should be recycled... even if the reality of your community's recycling facilities might not truly have that capability?

If so, you might be a wishcycler.

In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where I live, they often announce that when in doubt, throw it out... IN the recycle bin, and they will figure it out. So tend I "err on the side of heavy."
[For awhile we were composting a most of our food waste... until we had a short-lived, backyard episode of "Ratatoille" & critters using our french drain like the Parisian sewers. So, we are sadly only composting yard waste these days...but, I digress!]

But maybe I've really been lulled into the seduction of being a wishcycler. Paper towels gunk up the gears of recycle center machinery?! Oh man! Have I created that? Have I been an over-hopeful recycler, inadvertently loading up the landfill by "my fault" vs "default" recycling? And I'm the one who knows a lot about the environmental lot! My short term fix... to make this infographic:

So the bottom line and the best line of defense is: get specific to your municipality. Investigate and act accordingly. A classic example is pizza boxes. Many places won't recycle greasy cardboard boxes. But my Arundel County will (see their flyer below). Different communities have different parameters. Therefore, study up, plan with your purchasing dollar, be both well-intentioned and well-informed. And when in doubt, go "real" when choosing items in order to "reduce" and "reuse" (and eliminate the need to "recycle" due to those other two R's)... even during BBQ/picnic season ahead with all those seemingly-recyclable-but-not-always-recyclable-Red-Solo-cups!

Images from: ET movie poster from; definition from; infographic created using (

1 comment :

  1. Hello Green Team Gazette,

    Great job on the infographic! I am planning a recycling event and was wondering if you'd be okay with me using it for educational purposes.