Do you wishcycle?

Wishcycling: /wiSH sīk(ə)liNG/

tossing questionable items in the recycling bin, hoping they can somehow be recycled.

Don't be a Wish-cycler

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Recycle Smart instead!

There are only 5 materials that belong in your recycle cart.

(Click on the picture of each material shown below for a quick informational video.)


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Junk mail, newsprint, magazines, printing paper,  phone books, etc. Basically, any kind of paper except shredded, waxed, metallic or soiled. (No hard cover books - donate those instead)

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Metal Cans


​Aluminum or steel (tin) cans 

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Any kind of box unless it held a liquid (such as those used to hold milk, juice, wine and broth). Flatten it to save room in your cart

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Plastic Containers


​Look for the numbers 1 -7 within the recycle triangles on the bottom of the container

(no Styrofoam, no plastic bags)

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Green, brown and clear bottles and jars


Have a hard time remembering if an item goes in the trash or recycle? If you live in unincorporated Lee County, Bonita Springs, Estero or Fort Myers Beach, check the lid of your recycle cart - the information is right there.

Curbside Collection of Recyclables

Lee County offers weekly curbside collection of recyclable material. Your waste hauler will come by on the specified day to pick up both your recyclables and yard waste.

Don't be a Wish-cycler

Just because an item is recyclable doesn't mean it's recyclable in your curbside cart. Wish-cyclers include extra items in their recycle cart and hope for the best. This method of "recycling" is the most expensive and highest impact form of disposal.

A wish-cycled item must be

  • Collected from your curb
  • Transported to our Material Recovery Facility (MRF)
  • Sorted
  • Rejected
  • Loaded
  • Transported again
  • Finally disposed of

Please visit the What Not to Recycle page for a list of common household items that do not belong in your recycle cart. If in doubt, please call one of our friendly customer service representatives at 239-533-8000.


Remember - Plastic bags and shredded paper do NOT belong in your recycle cart. 

Want a visual reminder?

Lee County offers "Recycle Smart" information in paper or magnet form in both English and Spanish.

Click on the image below to view a larger, printable version of the magnet in English.


Visit our Topaz Court Solid Waste Facility for copies or use the provided links to print the material yourself. We are happy to provide you with material to share with your friends, family, neighbors or community association.

Recycle Smart Magnet - Spanish

Recycle Smart Brochure - English

Recycle Smart Brochure - Spanish