Day 314 – Choosing to recycle is a big step in helping the planet. However, it can get confusing. One question that many people have is, “How clean do I need to get my recyclables?” The folks at Earth911 put together a guide to help answer that question and they broke it down by type of material.
Jars, Bottle and Cans
- These usually only need a quick rinsing.
- If dealing with something like mayonnaise or peanut butter, try to get the majority out, but it does not need to be spotless.
- For stickier stuff like honey or jelly, give it a good scrubbing with soap, so you can remove most if not all of the substance.
- You do not need to remove labels from jars, bottles and cans.
- Allow these containers to dry if you are placing them with mixed recyclables (like paper or cardboard).
Cardboard and Paper
- When dealing with cardboard, like a pizza box, recycle what you can. Usually the lid is without grease or food, and can be put with your recyclables.
- Don’t be ready to trash a box if you happened to spill a little food on it, while cooking. If it’s not a significant amount, still get that box to the recycle bin.
- When it comes to paper, crumbled or wrinkled paper can go into a recycle bin. However, shredded paper can not.
Plastic Bags and Film
- If a bag has food on it, make sure you clean it.
- Make sure they are dry.
- Some crumbs would not hinder the recycling process, but be sure to shake out bags before recycling.
- Don’t put your plastic bags and film in your curbside recycling. Find a location (most grocery stores and Target) that will accept them.
By keeping contaminants out of your recycling bin the better chance your items will get recycled.
Tomorrow, drinkable ocean water.