Why you’re almost certainly wasting time rinsing your recycling

The Logical Place

The Conversation

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Your recycling doesn’t have to be sparkling clean. Monticello/Shutterstock.com

Trevor Thornton, Deakin University

Once a fortnight we diligently wheel our recycling bin to the kerb, and then probably give ourselves a pat on the back while thinking of all the useful products we have helped to create, and the resources and energy we have saved. The Conversation

Yet it pays to think a bit more deeply about what is going into each bin. Audits of kerbside collections have shown that around 10% (by volume) of the material placed in kerbside recycling bins shouldn’t be there. The most common “contamination” items include plastic bags (both full and empty), textiles, green waste, polystyrene (styrofoam) and general rubbish.

The problem cuts the other way too. Around a third of landfill waste bins routinely contain recyclables or green waste.

How many of us actually know where the contents of our recycling bin go, who manages…

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