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Comments (3)
  1. Ritchie Annand (reply)

    June 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Actually, one thing I’d be curious about would be whether it’s worth putting items that are going out for recycling in the dishwasher. We have a “sort at the centre” type system in our city where we put -all- of our different recyclables into the same bin (no sorting for glass, plastic types, cardboard – that’s done at the facility after the city takes it away)

    There’s got to be some modicum of recyclable cleaning going on at the facility, so it could be that dishwashing recyclables is doubling up on resources, but if you don’t clean at *all* then you might risk “spoiling” some of the other recycling.

    Sorry; I think about these things sometimes, especially during the long, tired collection of garbage and recyclables after the kids go to bed 🙂

  2. Gregory Laden (reply)

    July 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Ritchie, great question.

    We are supposed to turn over clean material (mixed), so we are probably using a similar system. I think most systems are moving towards this.

    What I do is this: I put the recyclables in the DW all the time. I stuff them in and don’t worry to much about them getting super clean, but they almost always end up very clean. They take up space that would otherwise be empty, as one can never really get the exact timing of everything perfect. So, I’m certain they are getting rinsed/clean for totally zero extra energy or water use.

    This does not work for everything, but for lots of things.

  3. Ritchie Annand (reply)

    July 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Cracked’s “Five Truths of Professional Recycling” was a pretty interesting read. Sounds like the market for the raw recycled materials is a lot less than it used to be, and buyers are getting pickier, so anything you can do to make sure your materials are in reasonable condition sounds good.

    (I did raise my eyebrows at finding out how motion-sickness inducing the job can be!)

    Every now and again, we get “clarifying material” from the recycling intermediaries, which are pretty interesting. For example, everyone seemed to be a bit all over the map as to what to do with pizza boxes, often erring on the safe side and just throwing them out. A note was distributed with our utilities bills saying “a bit of grease is just fine; don’t worry about it”.

    Sometimes, I wish I just knew where the division lines are. How much crud can be in a Tetra-pack before it becomes not worth recycling. Is all the tape on cardboard fine? How much do you have to flatten things – and what does this help?

    I try to take the extra time to make the recyclers’ jobs easier. I just wish I knew what would make them better, including knowing what stuff I can skip so I’m not spending ages disassembling things I don’t need to 🙂

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