Should I clean my Ridwellables? How clean is “clean”?

Written by Amanda Alvizo updated 3 mths ago
  • updated 3 mths ago

A big part of the reason we can recycle as much from our members as we do is because they do such a phenomenal job of cleaning what they give us! Our partners can only take clean and dry materials, which helps avoid contamination like mold. Dirty materials not only can’t be processed, but can also attract ants and other critters

We want to keep it as simple as possible for you! Some easy tips for cleaning items are:

  • Shake out any crumbs from plastic items that have contained dry foods, like snack food bags, cereal bags, bread bags, or used Ziploc bags.
  • For anything that needs to be washed (items Styrofoam or plastic that may have come in contact with meat or other foods that leave residue) you will want to ensure they dry completely before putting them in your Ridwell bag. Turning bags inside out can help speed this process up!

  • Make sure any threads you have for us are dry, as mildew is the #1 threads contaminant we see.

What if there are bugs or ants in my bags?

Bugs, ants, and other critters may hang out around your bin if it’s outside, but generally they won’t make their way into your bags unless there’s something there they want! If there are bugs in your bags, we sadly will need to leave the contaminated bag behind. Here are some steps you can take to eliminate these little pests:

  • Make sure your materials are clean.
  • If you find these pesky little things keep popping up, you can also use deterrents around your bin like food-grade diatomaceous earth or peppermint oil. 

  • Please do not spray or apply chemicals on the bags or items themselves. This can pose a safety risk to our drivers and warehouse teams.

What do I do if there is mold or mildew on my bag?

Especially in the wetter months, mold or mildew may appear on your bags if they're left in the bin where air cannot circulate well. The best way to avoid mold or mildew is to take your fresh bags out after each pickup so they can breathe!

For the safety of our drivers and warehouse team members, we will not collect bags that have mold or mildew on them. If any of your bags have had this pop up, please dispose of the bag(s) in an outdoor trash receptacle. We will be happy to collect your Ridwellables in a disposable plastic bag (we will make sure it stays out of the landfill!) and you can request replacement bags here!

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