The truth behind being "eco-friendly"

Waste Less Header

October 25,2018

Be a Responsible Recycler: Empty, Clean, Dry

an empty peanut butter container, rinsed, then dried for recycling

Before you throw that next container in the recycling bin, always remember: Empty, Clean, Dry.

  • Empty means making sure there is no food, liquid or product residue inside
  • Clean means all empty recyclable containers should be rinsed
    • If you can’t get the container clean, it’s best to air on the side of caution and place it in your trash bin
  • Dry means letting containers dry before placing them in the recycling so that paper and cardboard doesn’t get wet

So, take a second look at what it is you are about to recycle, and practice asking yourself: Is this empty? Is this clean? Is this dry? Take these steps and recycle right!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle – In that order.

When it comes to our environmental impact, many people feel that they are checking the “eco-friendly” box simply by recycling. But when it comes to impactful ways to reduce your waste, recycling comes last. Think of the slogan: 1. Reduce, 2. Reuse, 3. Recycle.

The best way to shrink your overall footprint is to reduce what you consume. If there is less waste to begin with, there is less to reuse, and ultimately, less to recycle.

            Here are some small, everyday ways you can reduce your consumption:

Food: Too Good to Waste- The Truth behind Date Labels

Date labels: They’re stamped on every container, on lids, on sides of jars, on box tops: BEST BY, USE BY, BEST BEFORE, SELL BY. Despite them being everywhere, the meaning behind these labels is often misinterpreted, and can lead to people throwing away food unnecessarily. Nearly 30% of food waste is linked to this confusion. Nearly 30 percent!

Remember: Date labels do NOT indicate when a food stops being safe to eat. Instead, they indicate when the manufacturer recommends a food is at its peak freshness. If a food smells, looks, and tastes okay, odds are it is just that.

plastic white milk jug



Hazardous waste in the household can be harmful to yourself, children, and pets. The wastemobile provides a safe place to dispose of household hazardous waste. It is available at The Outlet Collection in Auburn every weekend.



Fun Fact

Got something in your house or garage that you don’t know how to get rid of? Check out the “What do I do with?” tool here and get answers on where you can dispose of it!