I recycle everything I can. But really how clean do you have to get the peanut butter jar before you toss it for recycling. In other words, how much water do I have to waste to recycle the darn jar?
Thank goodness, they're talking about this very topic over at Slate.com in Clean Jar, Clean Conscience?
I think about this all the time (usually while rinsing a sticky, gooey jar and watching gallons of water go down the drain). Don't you?
Well, the Green Lantern over at Slate.com agrees. It is wasteful to use gallons of water cleaning out recyclables, which will, in turn, be washed again at the recycling facility. On the other hand, *not* rinsing, the Green Lantern points out, "can lead to mold and bacteria growth, and the smell can attract insects and other vermin"—and that's not just around your home but later at the recycling center as well.
So ultimately, the answer comes down to Yes, please scoop out any remaining food contents and rinse very sparingly. He also suggests cutting down on packaging in general, which I'm currently trying to wrap my brain around in terms of many of our pantry items. I mean, I haven't found peanut butter, a household staple of ours, in any lesser packaging than the traditional jar. Have you?
+++ How far do you go to wash out your recyclables before recycling?