Recycling and water usage

Fandango’s provocative question this week is about washing items that are recyclable.

Most recycling programs instruct us to thoroughly wash and dry the items (other than paper or cardboard) before putting them in the recycling bin. If you lived in an area that is suffering from a severe drought (as I do), would you choose to waste the water necessary to comply with those instructions, would you ignore them and throw unwashed items in the recycling bin, or would you put recyclable but unwashed items in the trash (landfill) bin?

Well………………………..(and not for a water supply)Recycling here in the UK started with a large square plastic box for newspapers and magazines. Then the council progressed to wheelie bins and households were encouraged to recycle tins, glass, plastic and a host of other items as per ‘the list’.
We did our bit, and still do, but there are times when you cannot get a recyclable tray clean, and pizza boxes are now a definite no-no.
Containers have a multitude of instructions as to what can and cannot be recycled, some being the glass jar in one place (separate collection point a mile up the road for us), the label in another and the lid in a third. Yogurt pots amuse me because you can remove the foil lid and the outer waxy cover leaving the plastic carton, but all three can be recycled. Seems they just want us to pull them apart. The little plastic lids for keeping the larger pots of yogurt fresh in the fridge bit the dust well over a year ago, so if I have one of those I have to cover it with a small plastic bag until I use the rest.
Trays and tins should be washed, not just rinsed now and some paper is no longer considered suitable for recycling.

I use my washing up water for rinsing said cans and trays after we’ve finished. On the boat, we learned to conserve water as we had a holding tank rather than mains, so invested in a water filter system that looked like a tea urn.

our water filter on the boat

We would therefore filter our drinking water and that used for cooking, but the rest was fed from the tank to our taps in the bathroom and kitchen sink. We still have it and it’s in every day use.

The thing is, you can be fined for putting the wrong thing in the wrong bin and in some areas, bins are checked before being emptied. If one item is wrong, your bin is left and stickered with the reason why it was not emptied.
They are also changing what is and isn’t acceptable, especially since the introduction of the additional garden waste bin which you currently have to pay the council £50 a year for. We inherited a green bin from the previous occupiers here but use it for storing buckets and other garden items as we compost our own lawn cuttings.

As for wasting large quantities of water, which we have to pay for too, to wash cans and trays, no. Besides, we now have a resident tray washer who gets stuck in and cleans it to perfection.

Photo left: March                                  Photo right: May                      Photo Below: June

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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7 Responses to Recycling and water usage

  1. We put all our garden stuff into the woods. The trash people won’t take it — at ANY price — but it’s just twigs and leaves and plants, so it can become more compost. No large country is making any serious efforts to deal with environmental stuff. We make a lot of mouth noises, but it’s meaningless. Recycling isn’t profitable enough, so no one is building them and government is too busy worrying about the stock market to worry about whether or not Earth will be livable in another generation.

  2. Fandango says:

    It’s interesting how rules for what can or cannot be recycled vary from place to place and also change over time.

  3. murisopsis says:

    We try very hard to recycle as much as possible. For the most part we are able to simply use a rag to wipe out the containers – but our dog used to get everything spotless soo. We used to be able to recycle Styrofoam but not anymore…

    • I’m forever looking for the little recycle triangle now, but on some packaging it says not to recycle at home but at the larger supermarkets. Do they really expect people to travel miles to put something in a store’s trash?

  4. rugby843 says:

    In the middle of the book “Dry”

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