Do you clean your recycling

For those that bother to pay attention to the rules of their recycling program. I’m sure that you have read about cleaning your recycled material. This request is mainly to help keep recycle sort facilities cleaner and hopefully bug and pest free. But how many people take the time to actually rinse out the materials they are going to place in their recycle bin? I’ll admit I am one of the few people who in fact do this. However for some time now I’ve questioned this action.

While I’m more than happy to try and help keep recycle sort facilities clean in some small way. Is my contribution really making any type of difference? I’m thinking the answer would be no. Why? Because the majority of people aren’t going to take them time to clean their recyclable materials. So even though I’m trying to do the right thing the fact that the majority isn’t makes my effort most likely pointless. Many environmentalist would also bring up the fact that cleaning recycled materials is a waste of water resources. Even though the area in which I live rarely has issues with water availability. This is still a concern for me. Which is another reason I’ve questioned my cleaning recycle contents.

The only reason I still continue to do this is to reduce the chance of attracting unwanted bugs or pest to our household. Since our recycle bin is located in our garage. Any unclean contents would attract these elements. Of course this concern would be almost eliminated if our community used large recycle containers that are a different color but same shape as our regular plastic waste collectors. There are many cities that use these large bins to collect recycled material. In my opinion if used properly these larger containers could help to increase the amount of material being recycled.

Do you clean your recycled material? If so why? Are you against this practice because of time, laziness or some worthwhile reason that has true value? Do you think cities should offer larger residential recycle bins with fully shutting lids to encourage greater amounts of materials being recycled? With single-stream recycling everything is getting mixed in together. So any cleaning efforts really only benefit your household staying bug and pest free. Once the recycled material enters the back of the truck that benefit is gone. My thought is that fully sealed recycle bins would be a win win situation. By helping reduce water usage for those that bother to clean what we are recycling. These bins would be larger thus offering more capacity for households such as mine that recycle large amounts of materials.

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