So, you’ve decided to join in on the recycling bandwagon. That’s great! Recycling is a great way to save the environment from further damage and deterioration. Aside from reusing any of the stuff you have at home, you can also choose to toss things into a recycling bin for recycling facilities to process and manage.

But did you know there are some things that you toss into the bin that can reduce the quality of recycled materials and give recycling facilities an extra hard time?

What is Wish Cycling?

Can you throw a plastic bag into the recycling bin? What about Styrofoam or some batteries? When you throw things into the recycling bin without really being sure if they’re recyclable or not, you can compromise the recycling process. Wish cycling is the practice of accumulating things to be recycled wishing you made the right choice. There are a bunch of items we might not be exactly sure about when we toss them in the bin, and this can cause big problems for facilities.

Your local recycling haulers will accept certain items in their facilities, and by keeping yourself updated on the stuff they’ll take in, you can save them from a whole lot of trouble. Usually, the items accepted for recycling include:

  • Cartons
  • Metal cans
  • Plastic bottles, cups, containers
  • Paper, boxes, and cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars

If you’re not sure what items your local hauler accepts, you can ask around and find out so you don’t accidentally throw unacceptable items along with recyclables.

What Isn’t Usually Accepted at Recycling Facilities

Plastic Shopping Bags are the biggest headache causers that haulers and facilities have to deal with. They’re flimsy and easily tangle together, and when they’re mixed in with bottles and other plastic items, they can cause jammed machines and prolonged recycling processes. There are designated bins for plastic bags, so if you feel like you need to get rid of yours, make sure you locate an appropriate channel for them.

Batteries seem like something you can recycle along with other recyclable metals like cans, but it’s actually not recommended to combine batteries with other items. Batteries are usually smaller and harder to sift and segregate. Because they leak out battery fluid that can be potentially dangerous, mixing them in with other recyclables might not be the best idea. To recycle batters are other hazardous materials like solvents, pesticides, and empty oil containers, visit Make The Drop and enter your postal code to find an upcoming drop-off event near you.

If you are uncertain about whether other household items are recyclable, don’t wish cycle! Check out Capital Junk’s handy Ottawa Recycling Guide and find out whether you can recycle materials from Aluminum (yes – blue box) to Yarn (no, but you can donate to the Canadian Diabetes Association Clothesline project). If we’re missing an item from our Ottawa Recycling Guide, give us a call at (613) 825-0707 and we’ll give you the inside scoop.

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