To recycle or not to recycle? That is the question many puzzle.
From plastic takeout containers to tofu packaging to instant coffee pods, there are so many kinds of packaging. It can be hard to know what goes into the recycling bin and what belongs in the trash.
Last year, to help clear confusion and prevent garbage contaminating the recycling system, Metro paired with local government partners to create RecycleOrNot.org, a regional resource that offers information in both English and Spanish about home recycling.
Since its launch last summer, Recycle or Not has reached thousands of recycling enthusiasts and on-the-go recyclers alike through its Instagram accounts and website.
And this year the Recycle or Not program is expanding. It’s going mobile with the launch of a new recycling game—loosely inspired by the dating app Tinder.
“It’s just a fun easy way to learn about recycling. It’s mobile, responsive,” says Jill Hrycyk, waste reduction specialist for Metro, who explains that players can find out what goes into the recycling bin with a simple finger tap right or left. “With this game what we are finding is that for younger generations, whether or not you’re on Tinder or any type of dating app, most people just [get] it,” she says.
The game features witty quips in English or Spanish paired with photos of materials and products that folks commonly toss out—high-problem-causing materials like plastic wrap and other items that many people find just plain confusing.
“This is really for that person making the decision of what goes into the recycling bin and what goes into the trash,” Hrycyk says. “The game has that kind of same momentum to it too. So does the website and all the resources we have available. It just gives this really quick yes and no list.”
Both RecycleOrNot.org and its gaming counterpart were created with people’s lived experiences in mind from busy schedules to limited English proficiency. Direct language and use of imagery improves accessibility and creates a shared knowledge of regional recycling practices.
So to recycle or not to recycle? If ever asking yourself the question, visit the website where you can play the game and find out.