Resolve to Stop Wish Cycling in the New Year

Posted on January 04, 2016
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Happy New Year! Do you have any resolutions this year? Will you get that gym membership? Will you commit to reading more books or learn a new language?

Consider adding a few green resolutions to your list. Add a room in your home to your recycling routine by collecting recyclables in the bathroom, laundry room, home office, bedroom, or other areas where you generate paper, bottles and other recycling. Learn more about recycling to make sure that recyclables stay out of the garbage. Most importantly, turn your “wish cycling” into recycling!

Wish Cycling?

Have you ever tossed an item into a recycling bin that you were not 100 percent sure was recyclable, just wishing it would be alright? Many items are recyclable, but some items that are tempting to throw in your recycling cart are actually problematic at recycling facilities. These can damage equipment or contaminate other materials, lowering the value of recyclables. The Star Tribune took an in-depth look at some problematic items, including plastic bags, food pouches, loose shredded paper, sharps, tires, and more.

Recycle with Certainty

Quit wish cycling this year by refreshing your knowledge of what’s accepted in your recycling program at home. Most haulers accept:

Check with your city or hauler for a list of materials specific to your recycling program. Also remember that many items can be recycled, just not in your recycling cart at home. Find options at Rethink Recycling.

Plastic Shopping Bags      

Plastic shopping bags are one of the hardest materials for recycling facilities to handle as they tangle in machinery, clogging machines and stopping the recycling process for hours at a time. Fortunately, plastic bags can easily be recycled at drop-off locations. Plastic bags are accepted at various retailers including Byerly’s, Cub Foods and Target as long as they are clean and dry. Find additional retailers through the Recycling Association of Minnesota’s It’s in the Bag program. Don’t put plastic bags in residential recycling bins or carts.

You can reuse plastic bags as garbage bags or to pick up pet waste. To limit the amount of plastic bags you end up with, use reusable shopping bags and avoid products with excessive plastic wrapping.


Most likely, there are items in your home that contain batteries. Many household batteries, including small button batteries found in greeting cards and watches, as well as rechargeable batteries contain hazardous materials that can harm the environment if not properly recycled. Their small size makes them hard for machinery to sort at recycling facilities, so they can’t be placed in residential bins.

Find drop-off options for rechargeable batteries through Call2Recycle, and check with your county for additional drop-off recycling options.


Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene, is a petroleum-based plastic that is used in a variety of products like packing supplies, cups and other containers. The only drop-off site for foam blocks is at the Coon Rapids Recycling Center. Limit the amount of Styrofoam you acquire by bringing your own lunch or cup instead of getting to-go boxes or Styrofoam cups. Try out some interesting re-use options including making it into decorations or seedling starters.


Is there somewhere I can

Is there somewhere I can donate/drop off old stained or ripped clothing?

Stained or ripped clothing has drop off containers throughout the state. They take any clean textiles and shoes, including clothing, curtains, old socks and torn linens. Many resale stores also take these and pass unsaleable items on to local recyclers or third world countries. (They do prefer you mark such donations as "Rags.") See also

textile recycling takes all kinds of textiles, including stained and ripped clothes, linens, curtains, fabric scraps and old socks. The fabric can be reused, made into insulation or carpeting, cut into rags, and unraveled and the yarn reused. They have drop-off bins throughout Minnesota. Most resale shops also take these. They prefer you label them as "rags," which are sold to various recyclers.

avoiding styrofoam and other ways to reduce waste

I want to add to your comment above that many restaurants have clear plastic take-out containers, (much more easily and broadly recycled) that they may not offer; you must ask. Also, many restaurants have aluminum pans with a cardboard lid (unfortunately the lid is lined with a liquid-resistant material to stop leakage and makes it harder to recycle or compost), and the Coon Rapids Recycling Center takes aluminum (and metal). The center also accepts plastic bags of all sorts (carrot bags to driveway salt and mulch bags), Christmas lighting, packaging styrofoam (NOT peanuts, but the big pieces that are used to protect delicate electronics), plastics 1-7 and much much more. Now, Ramsey County compost sites are taking organic kitchen waste - everything from chicken bones, paper towels, used tissues, hair, pizza boxes and the papers that one can't recycle or reuse like the wrapping around butter sticks. There are so many ways to reduce input to landfill waste, with minimal effort (I drive to Coon Rapids with a load once every 3-4 months, and to the compost site with my kitchen waste once every 1-2 weeks.). EVERYTHING that passes through your hands, just stop and think for an instant - can this be recycled, reused or composted?? Thanks for listening! Vici Ribeiro, DVM

softner salt bags

When is anybody going to start recycling softner salt bags. I've been asking for many years about them and the answer is always, "We're working on it." They are good heavy plastic. Is the problem the material or what was in them?

You can recycle the softener bags, just not curbside in the cart. Make sure any hard plastic handles are cut off and then put them in the plastic bag recycling drop off bins at many grocery stores or county drop off sites. Call your county or city recycling personnel to find out more or to get exact locations.

Top waste management services in India

Hi, Great resolution to turn waste material into a useful product in easy way. I truly appreciate your strategy to turn recyclable things into useful products. Truly appreciated your work. I am eagerly looking forward to see some more information like this in near future.

Very useful post! It is a 100

Very useful post! It is a 100% necessity of not practicing the wish cycling. Everybody knows that recycling centres do exist, let’s learn how to use them. Reading articles about recycling tips is helpful as well. It is our responsibility to create wealth from waste and reduce our landfills. There are too many reasons why we should seriously consider recycling. Keeping our planet dirty is related to unknown consequences for human health. Trying to do a separation between trash and recyclable waste should be on our daily routine schedules. It is our mission to be recycle- friendly and to keep our planet clean!

Millions of people, young and

Millions of people, young and old, are stamp collectors (philatelists), and philately is an educational and fun hobby.
Couple this with helping charities as well, keeping stamps out of landfill, and instead recycling stamps to collectors!!!!!

Recycling is a beneficial method; under which, we are able to utilize our waste unused products. Therefore, most of the manufacturing companies are taking suitable benefits from recycling methods. This method is really beneficial for our environment and we are able to maintain a balance recycling process.

Recycling post

Thanks for your introduction have read your article waste material into a useful product. I like these articles. I agree this method is beneficial for our environment Thanks for providing this information. Thank you so much.

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