Those of us who recycle hope that the world in a better place because of it. I know that it costs money to recycle, but I figure it's better to spend money on that some other government programs. Yes, I'm guilty of wanting recycling to fix our garbage problem, but I'm also probably guilty of wish-cycling every once in a while. Wish-cycling is when you wish something that's not recyclable could be, so you chuck it in the recycling bin, only to mess up the recycling machines and cost taxpayers even more money.
We have a fairly good recycling program in Jacksonville, mostly because you don't have to sort the items or take off labels. You can go onto the city's website
for the whole list of what can be recycled. But this article is about us wishing more could be thrown in the yellow-topped recycling containers, so I'm going to go through the list of non-recyclable items that people wish-cycle.
- Any #4 Plastics (LDPE), Includes items such as cling (Saran) wrap, sandwich bags, plastic garbage or grocery bags
Mostly, that's the plastic grocery bags. We have a separate container in the garage to take to Target once a month. Grocery stores should have these recycling bins, but they will screw up the machines we use, so don't throw them in the curbside bin.
- Any #6 Plastics (Polystyrene), Includes items such as all types of Styrofoam, packing peanuts, plastic cutlery, hangers, and medicine bottles
Guilty! I am pretty sure I've thrown plastic forks and medicine bottles in the recycling bin. But this one also makes me ask why they are not made of another kind of plastic.
These really do seem like they should be able to be recycled.
I'd read this one before, so I have not tried it, but I also don't understand why.
I suppose a shiv
made out of an aluminum can or recyclable plastic is OK. Since the weapons will be pulled out of the system, it's best to toss your incriminating weapon in the landfill or river.
Remember that normal alkaline batteries just go in the garbage can. Cell phone and other nasty batteries are supposed to be recycled at special collection centers that no one knows about or uses.
Sure, there's probably some paper on these, but there would also be gun powder or whatever flammable chemical is used in flares.
Again, there are special places to take your needles. Also, I don't know where.
You can get real money at a recycling center if you have enough wire. My cousin used to pick electrical wiring up and haul it in for cash. Just don't break into your neighbor's house and pull out all the wiring.
This one should probably read rubber and rubbers. Did you know that about half the rubber in a tire is natural (from a tree) and half of it is made from oil. So we use oil to fuel and lubricate our cars, for our tires, and in asphalt roads (5%). None of which is recyclable for 10 million years.
- Glass that is not clear, brown or green
I never even think about this one. If it's a glass container, I toss it in. I also do not know of anything at the grocery store that comes in other colors than these.
Jacksonville should be OK here, since there's a separate yard waste pickup each week. And food is good for the landfills.
- Any recyclable product contaminated with food cannot be recycled.
I guess I always assume there's a little bit of leeway here. I do rinse my containers, but if there's a tiny bit of Coke left in the bottle or a smudge of grape jelly in the jar, can't it still get recycled?
And what about lids? I'd read somewhere that you need to remove all caps and lids, but that information isn't on the site. Actually, under the Glass section, it says "Green, brown or clear bottles and jars (discard lids
with garbage)." I have always tossed these mostly metal lids in. And there's no mention of plastic container lids.