“Wishful Recycling”: Adjusting to the New Realities of Recycling

If you are a committed recycler like many of your neighbors here in Lakeport, you need to be aware that the nature of recycling has changed rather dramatically recently. You have already received notice of the major change, namely, that glass is no longer accepted by Fairfax County recyclers but now must be taken to designated collection points (we are fortunate to have a purple glass-only recycling container relatively nearby at Reston South Park and Ride, 2531 Reston Parkway, Herndon, roughly 10 minutes from Lakeport). It is important, however, to be aware of other restrictions that must be observed to avoid having an entire lot of recyclables consigned to the landfill. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 30 percent of material received in recycling pickup is actually trash.

Please read the following article carefully and put forth the extra effort that may be required to make what you put in your recycle bins each Friday usable instead of  merely “wishful recycling,” that is, placing items in the recycling bin because you think (or hope!) they will probably be recycled:

Here is one of the major takeaways from the article (#1 is one of the most difficult to follow for many people):

5 Ways to Adjust Your Recycling Habits
Wishful recycling actually harms the whole process described below, so here are five ways you can help:
  1. Only place empty, clean, dry, loose items in your bin
  2. Dump the Filthy Five! These five items should never be placed in your recycling bin:
    1. Plastic bags
    2. Shredded paper
    3. Tanglers (hoses/hangers/cords)
    4. Styrofoam containers
    5. Dirty diapers
  3. Purchase products made with high recycled content
  4. When in doubt, throw it out
  5. Make an effort to reduce the amount of waste you create — reuse what you can

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