Nov 29, 2019
Earth911 Podcast Innovator Interview

Wishcycling, tossing something that can’t be recycled into the blue bin, is the bane of recycling programs because it can contaminate other materials in the system. Earth911’s Mitch Ratcliffe talks with Lauren Olson, zero waste manager at compostable tableware maker World Centric in Rohnert Park, California, about building simple habits that prevent wishcycling. Simply keeping up with your local recycling program‘s rules is the best step you can take. But with rules changing so often, consumers need to build a habit of checking with their recycler’s website frequently.

Lauren Olson, zero waste manager, World Centric
Lauren Olson, zero waste manager, World Centric

Wishcycled materials, which can include many types of plastic, glass, and electronics, can lead to injuries in the materials recovery facility (MRF, or “murph”) where recyclables are sorted. Machines can be jammed by Styrofoam and plastic film, for example. And when workers try to clear the machines they can be injured. Lauren also discusses how compostable and recyclable products companies like World Centric must engage with local solid waste authorities to get new materials included in the recycling stream. Without a national standard for recycling, it’s tough for everyone, from product makers to citizens who buy those products, to successfully recycle materials.

If you’d like to see local restaurants and grocers using compostable plastic and fiber containers for to-go food and other packaging, tell them about World Centric’s wide range of earth-friendly packaging.

By Earth911

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