Are you Recycling or Wish-cycling? How to make sure you’re doing it right


Picture the scene, you're standing in front of your green recycling bag holding something in your hand. You're not  quite sure if it can be recycled but you  think it's ok to go in there. Probably. Maybe. It should be ok. So you pop it in the bag and hope for the best.

You're a wish-cycler - you have good intentions and want to make sure you're recycling the right things but perhaps you don't have all the information to make the right choice for your waste.

Did you know the wish-cycling approach can actually cause more problems and have a negative environmental impact? It costs money to rectify putting the wrong items in the wrong bags.

Residents will be given extra help to recycle properly under a new scheme which will let them know when they put out the wrong items unsuitable for recycling.

It's hoped the new scheme will make a huge difference in the quality of recycling and composting collected from the kerbside by Cardiff Council - helping the city become one of the best recycling cities in the world.

The new campaign will see bright pink stickers placed on recycling and garden waste bags or bins alerting residents that they contain incorrect items. If a pink sticker is put onto a container, residents will have to take their waste back into their property to remove the incorrect items before they put their recycling out again on the next collection date. Find out  more here.

Here's our top tips to make sure you're recycling all the correct items:

  • If in doubt, check before you chuck using our  A-Z of recycling on our website.


  • Empty and rinse all containers, jars and bottles.


  • Crisp packets cannot go in your green recycling bags as they are made from mixed materials. They should be put into your redstriped bag or black bin. 


We also offer a wide range of waste collection services including  Bulky Item Collections,  Nappies and Hygiene Collectionsand  Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

You could alsodonate items to charity or offer free collection through sites such as Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree if they are "too good to waste".

Incorrect presentation of waste and recycling may result in a fixed penalty notice of up to £100. However, before it gets to this point you'll see a pink sticker on recycling bags that have been presented incorrectly. We're asking that if people see pink, we want you to stop and think.

Find out more about the campaign  here and follow #seepinkstopandthink on social media.