Tips for cleaning your recycling before disposing of it

Recycling is an excellent way to help the planet and organise your home. Although many items are clean enough to recycle immediately, some will require your attention. Cleaning them will offset nasty smells, and it may make it easier for the person at the other end to dispose of your rubbish. How much effort you need to put into cleaning will depend on what you're throwing away.

Food packaging

Most recycling companies will struggle to dispose of your food packaging efficiently if it's still covered in the items it contained. Ideally, you'll wash each package after using it. But if you do find some rubbish with food caked on, soak it in hot water and dish soap for a while and then scrub it. If the packaging contained items such as chicken, use an antibacterial spray for good measure. Washing food packaging before your rubbish is removed should also reduce the likelihood of pests flocking towards it.

Scrap metal

Selling metal for scrap or recycling the metal appropriately allows it to remain as pure as possible when it's being re-used. Substances such as grease and paper make it challenging for the rubbish removal firm you use to repurpose the metal appropriately. While using safety precautions such as gloves, tip hot water over the metal to remove problematic residue. If it seems particularly greasy, scatter some salt on it first, as this breaks apart the fat. If you're dealing with labels on metal and the item is the right size, you can use steam to lift the paper off.

Mouldy furniture

In some cases, it's unlikely that your mouldy furniture can serve another purpose. But if the mould isn't too heavy, then you may want to try and clean it. Start by using a rough bristle brush to break away any surface mould first. Then use a mould removal treatment that's appropriate for the furniture material you're treating. If you're struggling to find a solution, try mixing four parts chlorine to one part water and using that instead. However, if you do so, use protective gloves and apply the solution in a well-ventilated area only.

Cleaning your recycling before someone collects it ensures it can be used appropriately. Additionally, it guarantees that the company collecting your rubbish can recycle it according to local guidelines. Overall, with minimal effort, you can make life easier for yourself and the rubbish removal company you're using.