Will it hurt the recycling machinery if I don’t clean out food containers before recycling them?



  1. 0 Votes

    According to my local municipality (and I would assume most if not all others), they request that all recyclable food containers be thoroughly rinsed to prevent the bogging down of their machines. As the machines procss recycled material, food scraps can clog them up, which requires cleaning and reduces the efficiency of the processsing plant.

  2. 0 Votes

    Glass is the easiest, since it has a high melting point, which means that any food particles will disintegrate in the process. However, it is best to clean off as much as you can.

    Plastic must be thoroughly cleaned, or the waste stream will be contaminated.(Please note that #7 “plastics” usually contain compostable materials like corn and SHOULD NOT be sorted for recycling.)

    Cardboard/paper containers are usually not allowed (but can be composted!).

    Unless you are very, very lucky, styrofoam is not permitted in the recycling stream either.

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