A Different Perspective about Recycling

I was told to remove labels and wash out the can before smashing it and putting it in the recycle bin. I did that for quite awhile until my cousin, who is an emergency room doctor asked me which was more valuable, the water to wash the can, or the tin recycled. No wonder he is a doctor. Pretty smart thinking. He saves the clean water which is getting more and more hard to get, and throws the can away. It is our decision to make. I'm just saying.


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June 9, 20164 found this helpful

There's no need to take labels off or to crush cans or bottles before recycling them. And even a little food residue isn't a big deal. In general a quick rinse is all that is required to remove bulk food. The single stream recycling which most of us do now handles most containers as is.

Waste Management has some general information, but your local utility will have more specific rules as well.

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June 10, 20160 found this helpful

You really do need to remove all food residue if you don't have curbside recycling. Otherwise you're stockpiling rotting, smelling cans and bottles. Actually cleaning them and taking time to dry them is certainly very energy and water intensive, however, besides the fact that not everyone has the space to dry and stockpile food packaging.


We have a recycle bin outside but I still only recycle the card paper boxes from food, as well as cardboard and paper product packaging, plastic "clamshell" and bag packaging, packing paper and bubble wrap. That adds up to quite a bit.

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful

Fletcher, that is a great article from Waste Management. Thanks for sharing. I hope everyone will take time to read it.

Once you get used to recycling, you'll find that you don't want to put these items in the trash. Recycling is so easy when you have a separate trash container to put it in. About half of what we take to the convenient site is recycled.

Recycling really makes a difference. It is saving landfill space, natural resources and it has created jobs.

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June 12, 20160 found this helpful

I remove the labels from cans and I do give them a quick rinse. After scraping out most all of the can contents with a silicone spatula,the quick rinse does a pretty good job.


Just make sure you rinse the can as soon as you empty it, and not later when you do dishes. As precious and scarce as water is becoming, I still seriously doubt those few teaspoons per can would cause a hardship on anyone.

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June 13, 20161 found this helpful

Why not just rinse the cans in the dish water after washing your dishes? That's what we do at our house. It uses no extra water at all, and the cans are still rinsed.

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June 15, 20161 found this helpful

I know why you rinse the cans in dishwater. Because you're smart. That's why. I've just learned something good. Thank you.

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks for reminding everyone about how important it is to not only recycle but also some better ways to do it.


I also rinse my containers in used dish washing water (and then pour water outside) but so many people just use a dishwasher and never use a "dishpan".

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