Friday, 6 May 2011

Washing cans, I must be bonkers

You're gonna laugh at this. I've just been on about cooking a meal in a pan and eating it out of the pan to cut down on washing up, and lo and behold, one or two others have confessed they also follow this slobby method of eating. Well that has pleased me no end.

Now look at this............

I've just done my washing up, the plates, mugs, saucepans and cutlery first, about four days worth, then a load of empty cans, mainly cat food cans I may add. OK, I did them in the same water at the end of the wash so it hasn't cost me any more in water or liquid, but it did take me an extra five minutes, removing the labels and scrubbing them out with a brush kept just for the job.

Why do I do it? Our cans and jars are collected every two weeks, we have a plasic box which we put out on the edge of the pavement at the front of the house. If the remnants of food are left in the cans they begin to stink and the box ends up becoming disgustingly filthy, and I don't want to have to wash this box. Not that anyone else does. I look at others in the street and if mine was like that I would be embarrassed.

I like my recycling box to look neat and tidy and clean, I put glass at one end and cans at the other. I think I must be a little bit doolally to go to all this trouble, they only get thrown into the lorry with all the rest.

If I stop doing it I would have to keep the box outside because it would smell, then it would get rained on, and eventually look shabby and start to fall apart. The council won't provide another free one, so if you damage the one you have, you have to pay for another. So I suppose in the long run, although it takes time to wash eveything I am saving money because my box lasts longer. Better carry on as I am then. Oh bugger, I was looking for an excuse to stop.


  1. It's sensible to do this though. I learnt the hard way when I ended up with maggots in the recycle box due to a cat food tin I hadn't washed out properly! They all get washed thoroughly now!

  2. I wash all my recycling cans and bottles out too. I put the paper wrappers into the paper/card box. I do keep my boxes outside, but they have close fitting lids. Your council's REALLY mean, if we wanted 4 or 5 boxes they just deliver another one! My worry is that we're getting ANOTHER wheelie bin as well, that'll just be the three of them plus a paper box and the plastics/glass one. I'm going to need a bigger garden to house them all!

  3. We used to have those boxes, then the council changed to proper bins. They're great because a) they're easier to move
    b) you can get more stuff in
    c) it's got a little compartment inside for paper and card
    and it's got a lid on, so the stuff doesn't get wet like it used to before.

    I always wash all the tins and plastic bottles before I recycle them.

  4. some one took my recycling box when they were all piled up as they had been on strike and were trying to catch up.

    I rang the council and the next dat true to their word I had two new boxes and lids thrown over my garden gate.

    I have used a kebab skewer that I heated up on the gas burner and punched/burnt holes in the side with the number of the house. and really carefully with garden gloves I melted the number and street name into the lid.

    lets see some one take them now.

    its the wheelie bin that gets me. it is nearly as tall as me and I have to drag it on to the street and block the pavement with it. I live opposite a school so people are up and down pushing children in buggies and my bin is in the way as it is a narrow pavement. but the time I left it just on my drive they wouldnt take it.

    Where do all these new build houses put it all? they are so small

    I am used to washing everything out, as we lived in Germany for a few years. one of my friends washes hers out with water from the rain butt and then tips it on the flowers.

    Saw you on the tv. fab!

  5. Yes we wash our recycling for the same reason as you and when my husband is away, I use the same plate mug and fork all week, rinsing them off between uses. I have also eaten out of the saucepan, so you're not alone there either :-D

  6. What kind of box is your recycling box? What material? Our recycling bins here are made of a strong plastic... and if they die, they are replaced. It's not really free though - it's a part of the service when you pay land/house rates.

  7. If we don't wash our tins and plastic containers out they wont take them away. years before recycling began I always washed my tins out - due to maggots in the bin, happened once, never again. Had you thought of heating up the contents of your tin by taking th elid off and then putting the tin in a pan of water which you place on the cooker? - it works for beans and other veggies... then you use the hot water to wash up the fork and the tin (after having eaten the contents of the tin from the tin lol!). I used to do that years ago when I lived in a bedsit in London.

  8. Very sensible I think. I hate to see shabby looking bins/recycling boxes and I always wash things before they go out - but I live my whole life like that because I have obsessive compulsive disorders so am a bit doolally!!

    I don't think washing cans is silly though, it makes sense for all the reasons you have mentioned! And hey, it doesn't matter if we are doolally because we're happy that way!

  9. I wouldn't dream of putting out cans without washing them. I put them in the water after having done the washing up, cat food tins, sauce jars etc.

    I must say I do like using a pretty plate out of one of my charity shop finds, but I don't think anything odd about eating out of pans if it's what you want to do. I do hate washing up though and will eat a piece of toast or sandwich from a bread board (like you have in Germany for breakfast) that I can just wipe down.

    I hope the weather doesn't stay like this for your holiday, although it is going to keep warm. Pity it wasn't last weekend.

  10. We're very lucky here- we have one big lidded bin which we put mixed recyclables into- we are expected to wash out all cans and bottles though. Have to say it's never occurred to me to do otherwise.
    Well done on SS btw- am enjoying the programme!

  11. We keep the big box outside and a smaller box in our conservatory. Everything gets washed up at the end of washing all other dishes etc.. We keep all drinks cans for my parents who recycled them for T*SCO clubcard points.

    Sft x

  12. Like you our recycling is collected every 2 weeks, so we also wash out all our cans, bottles and jars. As we live near a river and occasionally get rats and mice its even more important even though I do keep our box outside. Afraid our box is one of the grubby ones, you've made me feel ashamed so I'll give it a good rinse out the next time its emptied.

  13. I've posted about this previously. They don't always need to go in the recycling box because they make great planters.

  14. Phew, I'm not as daft as I thought, we have a few more can washers here. Ali, it's a strong plastic box without a lid. I have noticed a few different colours being put out, presumably because the original one has gone and they have had to buy their own replacement.

    Billie Jane, your suggestion of heating a can of food in a pan of hot water reminds me of the sponge puddings you can get with a syrupy topping. I have never thought to try it with other food.

  15. I've noticed a lot of people leave the labels on their cans and jars in the recycling boxes, whereas I take them off before washing them and put them in the paper box.

  16. We were told to wash out the food containers to be recycled because otherwise it will contaminate the big bundles and attract vermin as well as maggots, etc.


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