Many of you have reached out to us recently regarding the cleanliness of your containers. There is no one-sized fits all answer for this question but we hope we can clarify a few things.

Recyclables processed in Manitoba are sent to a number of domestic markets as well as international markets including China. The recycling industry as a whole is currently going through a number of changes due primarily to the China National Sword. The China National Sword is a policy that was put in place to reduce the amount of contamination allowed in recyclable bales sent from other nations.

So what does this mean for us here in Manitoba? As the industry works through some of these changes, it’s important that you Know Your Recyclables. Check out our handy Recycling Guide to see what you can and can’t recycle right here in Manitoba. We need to educate ourselves on what is actually accepted in our own programs.

Furthermore, it’s our general recommendation that your containers should be empty before putting them in your blue bin. You don’t have to remove lids or labels on your recyclables, just make sure they are empty first! Plastic, glass and metal containers can be cleaned but don’t need to be spotless. Rather than wasting water, throw your recyclables into your dirty dish water at the end or even place them in your dishwasher if you have the room. Doing so avoids contaminating other materials in the blue bin, reduces unpleasant odours and the development of mould, and ensures sorting centre employees work in a healthier environment.

It is important to remember that every community and their recycling processor will have different requirements. Please contact your local municipality to confirm their best recycling practices.

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