News Flash

Refuse and Recycling

Posted on: July 15, 2019

What is “wishful” recycling?

wishful recycling

In 2018, the cost of recycling, in the City of Manassas, increased by over $100,000. The main reason for this is the rising of cost of processing our recyclables due to contamination.

Everyone knows that recycling is the best way to help reduce the cost of trash disposal and the impact that unwanted mountains of trash has on our environment. But sometimes people get confused about what to recycle and just drop an item in the recycling bin thinking that someone else will take care of it. These “wishful recyclers” can do more harm than good with their recycling habits.

Wishful recycling is when items are tossed in the recycling bin in hope that it is recyclable. However, these items could “contaminate” other recycling items and cause them to end up in the landfill. Used diapers, jars full of food, greasy pizza boxes, half full bottles of soda, used tissues, and dirty plant pots are just some of the items that we see at the recycling center.

Curbside vs. Drop-off

Dirty recyclables aren’t the only problem. Clothing, wire hangers, plastic bags, electronics, paint cans and even bowling balls have made their way into recycling bins.

Curbside recycling is for plastic containers, glass containers, metal cans, paper and cardboard only. Nothing else – no really.

City of Manassas residents can drop-off electronics, paint and chemicals for free at one of our regularly scheduled drop-off events at the Manassas Transfer Station. We also hold shredding days for personal documents several times a year. Last year, our residents recycled more than 158 tons of recyclable materials!

Here are more drop-off solutions for your recycling:

  • Local grocery stores accept plastic bags and film for recycling, which goes to a local company called Trex. These items are used to make decking and playground equipment.

  • All of our local dry cleaners accept wire hangers for reuse.

  • There are many local charities that accept clothing, housewares, books, electronics … and bowling balls.

  • Home Depot and Lowe’s will take your rechargeable batteries and fluorescent lights.

  • Best Buy takes a number of electronics including phones for recycling.

Contaminated recyclables can cause many issues when they enter the recycling stream. They slow down the sorting process, break recycling machinery, and degrade the quality and market price of recyclable materials.

You can help keep the cost of recycling down within our community by following the rules for recycling right. Just visit: for more information.

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