Rinsing recyclables? 

A light rinse is perfect — no need to scrub your recyclables

click to enlarge nea_recycling_bins_orchard_road.jpg


Can you please explain in more detail about recycling dirty, contaminated items? I lightly rinse out my wine bottles and containers, do I need to make sure there is absolutely no residue from the food or beverage?



Hello, Virginia!

A light rinse is perfect — no need to scrub your recyclables.

The reasons for rinsing are threefold: it improves the quality of your recycling, it limits pests (in your recycle bin and at the recycling facility), and it prevents mold. This can be accomplished by adding a little water and swishing or shaking, or using a spatula to scrape out foods like peanut butter.

Sounds like you’re doing it just right!

Piece out,


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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at rsweany@sbcglobal.net.

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