Your recycling bin is not hungry. It does not crave a midnight snack and it is not interested in finishing the last sip of your soda or bottled water. In fact, recycling bins thrive on a steady stream of plastics, paper, cardboard, and metal that is free of liquids and food. Small quantities of foods and liquids may seem harmless, but the truth is they contaminate recyclable material and contribute to a slew of problems at the materials recovery facility where the recycling material is sorted into individual commodities.
Photo by Beth Holbrook – Waste Management
All recyclables must be free of food and any liquids. When containers that are not empty go in the bin, they ruin good recycling and sometimes result in the entire load going to the landfill. As drink bottles are crushed, liquids spill out and cover surrounding material in a wet, sticky, odorous mess that attracts rodents, insects, and make the material unmarketable. Always remember that when it comes to recycling, Clean is Best – Trash the Rest.