Questions about recycling, composting and waste diversion?  Why not Ask Charlie?  Charlie’s been in the recycling biz for quite some time, and enjoys answering questions from all over King County.  Each month, as part of Recology CleanScapes’ Beyond Waste Bulletin, Charlie answers a question.  Below is this month’s response!


Francis asks:

Dear Charlie,

I just opened an Italian restaurant and BOY do we use a lot of olive oil.  Most of what we get comes in containers like the one below.  I keep hearing about a heavy focus on sorting recyclables correctly, so I wanted to check in on the proper protocol for recycling these containers.  Aiuto! (Italian for help).


Dear Francis,

Congrats on the new spot!  And thanks for checking in.  The solution to your question is two fold – first, you’ve got cardboard on the outside, and plastic on the inside.  My advice: remove the cardboard portion and toss it in the blue bin (assuming it’s free from excess oil).  If you’re finding that residue oil is making it’s way to the cardboard, toss it into the compost bin instead.  The plastic container will definitely have excess oil.  When you’re finished with a bottle, let it drip upside down for a few minutes to allow for maximum oil removal.  Then, screw the lid back on and toss it in the recycling bin.