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''Wishful'' recycling – when you do more harm than good
August 10, 2018 — Solid Waste Management

''Wishful'' recycling is the term for putting non-recyclable or potentially reusable items in the recycling cart, which often results in polluting a clean batch of recyclables rendering them unmarketable. Also, the machines that sort and process the materials become stuck on certain items like plastic bags which creates an inefficiency.

Miami-Dade County residents are eager to be green so let’s get clear on what’s accepted and what’s not accepted as part of Miami-Dade County's curbside recycling program.

Acceptable recyclables you should place in the recycling cart include:

• Paper products: newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, printer paper, copier paper, mail and all other office paper without wax liners
Cardboard: packing boxes, cereal boxes, gift boxes and corrugated cardboard
Metals: aluminum and steel food and beverage containers
Aseptic containers: poly-coated drink boxes and juice and milk cartons
Glass: glass food and beverage containers 
• Plastic bottles: milk, water, detergent, soda and shampoo containers

''Wishful'' recyclables you should NOT place in the recycling cart include:

• Plastic bags
Dirty items: normally acceptable items that contain food or food residue 
Certain plastics: cups, utensils and plates, margarine and butter tubs, yogurt cups and plastic hangers
Foam containers, egg cartons and meat trays

You do have additional recycling options. Many grocery retailers accept plastic bags, foam containers, meat trays, yogurt cups and egg cartons. Also, Home Chemical Collection Centers will accept many electronics, chemicals and batteries.

Remember, before you put your blue recycling cart at the curb, make sure the items inside are acceptable items rather than ''wishful'' recycling items. Miami-Dade County and the planet thanks you.

Learn more about proper curbside recycling

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