Shirley Freriks: Rinse and recycle without waste |

Shirley Freriks: Rinse and recycle without waste


In response to Robert Bee’s letter July 2 — about his sense that washing out glass and plastics for recycling is a waste of water — I ask that we look at the other end of it. There are always at least a couple sides to the story.

In my view, it is not a waste of water because not rinsing (correction, we are not talking washing and drying, only rinsing out the big food contamination) is a waste of resources because not offering relatively clean recyclables means they go to the landfill where they produce methane that adds to greenhouse gases, which results in global warming and potential fires in Nevada County.

If clean, they stand a good chance to be reprocessed into post-consumer material for new products. We must keep our existing resources in play so we do not need to cut down virgin forests for toilet paper used once or create a demand for more fossils fuels (plastics are derived from fossil fuel extraction). We must reuse the resources above ground already in the new circular economy approach to preserve our finite resources to keep up with population increase.

So use a little bowl to catch the little rinse water for dishes and recyclables to reuse for other rinsing. Easy! Trust me, it is a better solution to the climate crisis and wastes little to no water if you do it thoughtfully.

When it comes to peanut butter and mayonnaise jars, they do need a bit more attention but it does not need to take much more water. Just put a grease cutting detergent like Dawn in the jar and add some water half way. Let sit a little while. Swirl it around and as you pour it out, use a bit of a paper towel to wipe out the majority of it. It does not need to be 100% clean.

Very little water used. More gained on the other end.

Shirley Freriks

Grass Valley

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