How to avoid wish-cycling: what can be recycled

November 16, 2023

How to avoid wish-cycling: what can and can’t be recycled 

Recycling is an essential part of a sustainable lifestyle, but the concept of wish-cycling—tossing items into the recycling bin hoping they’ll be recycled—can often do more harm than good. Understanding what items can and cannot be recycled is crucial for an effective and efficient recycling process. Let’s delve into this wider realm of responsible recycling, touching not only on how to get rid of electronic devices, but also on recycling other everyday items. 

Know Your Local Recycling Guidelines: Each city has its own recycling rules. Familiarize yourself with what items are accepted in your local recycling program. Materials that might be recyclable in one place might not be in another, simply because the recycling facility lacks the technology to properly recycle that material. 

ReturnCenter offers a specific solution for recycling used cell phones, tablets, and laptops via our mail-in program. 

Recycling E-Waste: You’ve probably wondered what to do with your old cell phone, or how to dispose of a laptop. Electronics can be complex to recycle due to the variety of materials they contain. ReturnCenter’s specialized recycling ensures these devices are handled responsibly and efficiently. 

Plus, any remaining value of the device is sent to a charity of your choice. Get started. 

Plastics & Packaging: Some plastics are recyclable while others are not. Check the recycling numbers on plastic items to identify if they are accepted in your local recycling program. Flatten or remove packaging where possible to reduce space in the recycling bin. 

Paper & Cardboard: Clean, and dry paper and cardboard are usually recyclable. Be mindful of contaminated or wet items, as these can affect the recycling process.  

Metal Items: Metals like aluminum and steel are commonly recyclable. However, items with food residue or non-recyclable coatings might not be accepted. You may need to remove the paper labels from cans, another reason to check your local recycling guidelines. 

Glass Products: Glass bottles and jars are often recyclable. However, ceramics, heat-resistant glass, and other types may not be accepted. It’s vital to follow specific recycling guidelines for glass items in your area. 

Textiles & Clothing: Some clothes and textiles can be recycled, but not all are suitable for recycling bins. Consider donating or repurposing clothing to extend its life cycle rather than wish-cycling it. 

Understanding the specifics of what can and can’t be recycled, including items beyond just electronics, is pivotal in ensuring a smooth and effective recycling process.

By avoiding wish-cycling and utilizing ReturnCenter’s recycling services for old or broken laptops, phones, and tablets, as well as understanding the broader spectrum of recyclable items, we collectively contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable environment.

Let’s join forces to recycle responsibly and make a positive impact on our planet.