Recycling programs can vary. It’s important to know your local program for many reasons! In order for recycling to be truly successful and sustainable, the industry must reduce contamination. This means keeping recyclable items clean, dry, free of food and liquid, but it also means making sure undesirable items are not mixed in with the recycling stream. Putting items in the recycling bin when you’re not actually sure they are accepted in your recycling program is called ‘wishcycling’ and this can lead to damaged equipment, injured workers, lost efficiencies in time management, which leads to financial losses for recyclers. In some cases, contaminated loads of recycling are no longer marketable to manufacturers. These are some of the reasons it’s important to know your program! When in doubt, ask!