Theoretically, no you do not need to clean out pop cans and bottles before you recycle them. In the recycling process all the debris left in the can/bottle will be evaporated when the melting process occurs. This does however cost energy therefore it is recommended that the individual does rinse out some recycled products to save time, energy, and speed up the recycling process. For instance a glass container can easily be rinsed out before tossed and save time later in the sorting process. It is also recommended that you take all lids off any containers since they are made from different products for the same purpose.
No, it is not necessary since the recycling centers are equipped to clean out any left-over food. However, it is a good practice to clean out food that will go bad or rot, because once you put out your recyclables, it can take days or weeks for it to actually be recycled. So, left-over mayo, for example, would begin to rot and smell bad, attracting bugs and creating health risks for workers. The cited article suggests some way to rinse out your recyclable without wasting water.
You do not need to clean out your soda cans, but you do need to make sure they are empty. Some places weigh your recyclables, and the extra liquid would weigh more. It is advised to rinse out your soda cans to keep bugs and other insects out of the cans as well.
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