Central New York, Community

Wish-Cycling Ruins Recycling Process in Onondaga County

Newspapers, magazines, catalogs and soft cover books should be loose and not tied when placed in bin. ©2018 Michelle Houston

Audio transcript: Wish-Cycling script

Click the player above to see why you should think twice before tossing something in a bin.

By Michelle Houston, Syracuse N.Y. (NCC News)– While recycling is going well in Onondaga County, Department of Public Works Deputy Commissioner, Ann Fordock says there is always room for improvement.

According to Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, nearly 40-thousand tons of items were collected from homes through the blue bin curbside recycling program.

OCRRA is a non-profit business that deals with solid waste in Onondaga County.

There are specific items that can be tossed in a recyclable bin. There are also rules for how those items should be placed in a bin. Any other items are considered as garbage.

OCRRA refers to the act of placing unrecyclable items in a bin, as wish-cycling. People tend to do this when they’re unsure if something is recyclable. This can be costly, especially during the sorting process.

“Wish-cycling creates a dirtier product at the end of recycling which therefore would has less value and be harder to recycle,” Fordock said.

An unrecyclable product can contaminate materials that are recyclable. This can cause those materials to no longer be reusable.

Fordock says when in doubt throw it out.

“So you’re better off to put it in the trash until you find out for sure because trash doesn’t get contaminated right..trash is trash,” Fordock said.

Additional information on recycling in the community, is available on the OCRRA website.