Your Recycling Could Be Going To LANDFILL

Your Recycling Could Be Going To LANDFILL

This week’s simple swap is an effortless way to help the environment and close the loop of waste.


These enormous savings come about through having an understanding of how to avoid the traps of wish-cycling as “84% of households are contaminating their recycling through well-intended wish-cycling”, according to Wrap (a source for statists on environmental matters).


Wish-cycling is the practice of tossing questionable items in the recycling bin, hoping that they can be recycled. As much as we all want to reduce waste and recycle as much as we can, wish-cycling is a real threat to the success of our recycling program.


Furthermore, wish-cycling is problematic because if the bag of recycling has a certain quota of unrecyclable materials or has food or oil residues then the whole bag has to go to the landfill or incinerator, that is still the case, even if the majority of the bag is recyclable. This is because it will cost too much to separate the recyclable and non-recyclable materials.


One reason for this staggeringly high percentage of people who ‘wish-cycle’ may be because of “no matter what ultimately happens to an item after we toss it, recycling creates a positive feeling that overcomes negative emotions

associated with waste, like guilt. This effect serves as a sort of “moral license”. By believing recycling is an option, we wind up consuming more and more” as a recent study by Boston University observed.


Ironically, the positive feeling when you wish-cycle, in fact leads to more materials going to waste.


However, by avoiding the traps of wish-recycling and by understanding the rules of your local recycling facility, it will dramatically increase the chances of the item being recycled, which in turn creates a circular economy (an economic system based on the reuse and regeneration of materials and products).


Moreover, recycling plays an essential role in reducing the amount of waste which goes to landfill which in turn creates a circular economy and reduces the creation of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and non methane organic compounds. These gases can also contribute to climate change and create smog if left uncontrolled which can increase the risk of respiratory issues and cancer.


Additionally, recycling has economic benefits such as creating a savings cycle back to consumers, who can buy goods for less. Recycling also avoids the cost of waste disposal in landfills and incinerators. As less landfills are needed, more land can be put to economic use, saving money on space and potentially making land more affordable.


Some of the most common items that get-wish cycled are: To-go cups (often paper with a thin layer of plastic), single-use cutlery, and takeout containers mainly because of the food contamination or the colour of the plastic is black which is the hard to recycle as the sorting machines do not register the items the same way as other plastics.


Secondly, not separating labels from their boxes, bottles or packets is another issue because they are often manufactured from different materials and so they cannot be recycled together.


Your saving summary, by understanding ‘the rules’ of your local ‘pick up recyclers’ and then abiding by these rules, means you will be helping to reuse the materials we already have and thereby you are helping to create a circular economy and as such, closing the loop on waste and this will save you money and save the planet.

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