Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

“Wish-cycling” – What is it and How to Avoid It!

Stop “wish-cycling,” Hancock Park Resident Jon Lagardere can really recycle some plastic products.


As I add things to my weekly recycling pile, I am always thinking, “where will this end up? And what happens when we put plastic bags into our curbside recycling?”

My story begins and seems to never end with that large blue recycling bin sitting in my driveway.

I began my career as a Private Chef helping people use food as medicine. My relationship with food has allowed me to understand that what I eat affects my long term health. The same goes for my relationship with the planet – how I recycle today will affect my everyday way of life in the future.

The day I stopped using single-use plastic bags has quickly evolved into a lifestyle and mission. One habit at a time, I’ve been learning to live a more sustainable life. I’ve recognized that what we eat impacts our health, and dramatically impacts our bodies. For instance, every piece of plastic that has ever been created still exists today – much of it becoming micro plastics which are a big polluter contaminating the oceans and the groundwater we rely on (not to mention in the food we eat!).

In 2017, we moved to Portland Oregon. While living there I became a member of Ridwell, a mission-driven company that helps households waste less by finding sustainable solutions to items that aren’t recycled curbside. Ridwell finds non-traditional partners to either upcycle or recycle items otherwise destined for the landfill – like thin plastics, styrofoam, and textiles.

Two years ago, we relocated back to LA to Hancock Park. I was surprised at how many things I was unable to recycle in my blue bin and I was already missing my cute Ridwell bin on my front porch. To my surprise, Ridwell was getting ready to launch service in LA and I excitedly joined the company as a Community Launcher. Part of my job is to educate people about what isn’t recyclable and how to avoid the common theme of “wish-cycling” – putting things in the blue bin hoping they get recycled without knowing what actually happens to them.

Did you know that thin plastics like Ziploc bags, Amazon mailers, plastic grocery bags, newspaper bags, bread bags, common food bags, etc., are often wish-cycled? Many of us think we are doing the right thing by putting them in the blue bin, but the reality is that they will contaminate the recycling system and clog machines used for sorting and separating materials. These items wind up in the waste stream, taking more resources to finally end their journey in the landfill. However, these thin plastics can be given new life when handled outside the traditional system.

From private chef to your resident recycling nerd, I know we can help the planet if we all work together. We need to change our habits of consumption and manufacturing, and work to create new circular systems that don’t leave waste for future generations to clean up. I want our neighborhood to be Ridwell’s first neighborhood in LA to launch, and help model new standards for sustainability for our city. Please join me and more than 400 of our neighbors (and counting) in Hancock Park and Larchmont Village, and over 5,500 others around LA, in bringing this amazing offering to our community by joining the waitlist.

Ridwell is a subscription based model that picks up from your home, twice monthly. Currently it operates in 6 markets across the US, with more than 80K members, and to date has saved more than 12 million pounds of would-be waste from landfills.

Learn more and join the waitlist here. Have a question about recycling or Ridwell? Email me at [email protected]


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  1. Great idea, hope they’re successful here. So much plastic waste ends up in the landfill & its easy enough to just use less as well.


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