‘Wish-cycling’ headaches spur recyclers to help people toss the right materials

Recyclable materials zip along a conveyor belt in Shakopee as workers scramble to grab what doesn’t belong: Plastic bags, shredded paper, clothes hangers, a giant poster of Garfield.

It’s all evidence of “wish-cycling,” the well-intended pitching of trash into the big blue single-sort recycling bins in hopes that it can, somehow, be recycled. But those unwanted items are a headache for recyclers, who are left with gummed-up sorting machines, less valuable recyclables and a pile of trash.

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