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Wish-cycling adds cost for local recycling facilities and their residents.

WAUSAU, Wisc. (WAOW) — Wisconsin recycling facilities said they spend thousands of dollars clearing out trash from recyclables.

Taylor Sorenson, the Recycling Coordinator in Waupaca County, said she would like to recycle as much as possible, but “wish-cycling” is getting in the way. “It’s more harmful to recycle something that you think should be recycled than to actually throw it away,” said Sorenson.

In Waupaca county alone, Sorenson said, they spend up to $15,000 each year on separating trash from recyclables. “Across the state, plastic bags are the number one contaminants for most recycling facilities,” she said.

Though some plastic bags will have indicators that identify them as recyclable, Sorenson said most facilities won’t take them because the bags clog up their machines.

Instead, you can drop plastic bags off at humane societies.

Lisa Leitermann, the Executive Director at the Humane Society of Marathon County, said they are happy to take your extra plastic bags. “We collect them, hold onto them, and then use them on a daily basis for poop pickup.”

To find out what you can recycle in Wisconsin, visit the DNR’s website. 

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Tom Lally

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