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Thread: Clean recyclables before disposal?

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Clean recyclables before disposal?

    Sort of a vent and sort of a question. Today is garbage day when both garbage and recyclables are picked up by contractors hired by the municipality. There is direction in municipal info that recyclables should be rinsed. That is my routine.

    A new neighbour, delightful couple, put out their recyclables but don't push the styrofoam etc., to make sure that the breeze
    doesn't send it all flying. It was problem with another neighbour as well and I mentioned to them that the really strong winds had sent their box flying on the street spilling the contents across yards. They have been a little more careful. In both cases, when I go out, I simply pick up and reposition as much as possible to prevent further loss. Another neighbour does this clean-up as well.

    However, in today's episode, with the new neighbour, I was gathering up the 3 styrofoam containers used for "doggy bags" at restaurants that had blown out and found different food debris on them spilling on the street. Also the glass containers were uncleaned etc. Ick!

    We already have a problem with crows and coons raiding the garbage left out the night before.

    Do you clean your recyclables before disposal? What would you do?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Oh yes I do. I've said before that I spend my life curating garbage...

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    You hit a hot button for me, razz. But my beef isn't with my neighbor, it's with DH. He has NO sense of recycling protocol. He throws all kinds of plastic non-recyclables like newspaper pouches or supermarket bags. He never rinses out food from cans. He tries to get away with throwing anything he wants in there, and then when I go to clean out the recycling can that he put out, a) I look like a ridiculous old lady cleaning up the garbage and b) we fight. And I'm feeling angry that I'm standing there in the street sorting garbage. Why can't people just follow simple rules? I've printed out the Township's recycling rules, and he doesn't read them.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #4
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Yes, we wash our recyclables. We don't have curb-side so we sort and organize into various bins then deliver every 2-4 weeks to the cleanest recycle center in the world. They have so many rules and they are always changing. I won't get out of the car because I don't want to get yelled at about some rule that changed in the last 5 minutes so I usually just send DH instead.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  5. #5
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    Yes, we clean recylcables first, to avoid flies and the like.

  6. #6
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Yes, we rinse all recyclables, it seems like the right thing to do.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  7. #7
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    My recycling tends to sit in my garage for a long time - so yes, although I will confess to tossing the freshly drained beverage bottle or can in now and then.

    i wish we could recycle styrofoam.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am in the middle. While I nearly always rinse items out and sometimes even put them in the the dishwasher, I am not thorough in cleaning.

    Our big stash of recycleables is kept on our patio and I empty that about twice a month. The small, cardbord and paper items I keep in a kitchen container because they cant get wet in rain.

    the giant, enormous pile of newspapers, magazines, and flat paper is DH's responsibility and he thrown them in a container kept i. Our downstairs shower. Hehe, it is unused space.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Yes, I rinse the recycleables. Aside from it being a good thing to do, it sits in my house for a few weeks because I don't have curbside pickup either. So, nicer for me because it doesn't smell in the house and nicer when it gets to the recycling center.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    A while back NPR had some recycling expert on and the question came up whether washing out recyclables used more water than the recycling value. He said not and recommended rinsing out recyclables everywhere but Calif., which was in a drought at the time.

    I rinse most things and put especially greasy items in the dishwasher. I only get to the recycling center every two or three weeks and want to avoid any smell or attract rodents.

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