Here’s Fandango’s question:

MOST RECYCLING PROGRAMS INSTRUCT US TO THOROUGHLY WASH AND DRY THE ITEMS (OTHER THAN PAPER OR CARDBOARD) BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE RECYCLING BIN. IF YOU LIVED IN AN AREA THAT IS SUFFERING FROM A SEVERE DROUGHT (AS I DO), WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO WASTE THE WATER NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, WOULD YOU IGNORE THEM AND THROW UNWASHED ITEMS IN THE RECYCLING BIN, OR WOULD YOU PUT RECYCLABLE BUT UNWASHED ITEMS IN THE TRASH (LANDFILL) BIN?

I live in the UK and I usually put dry packaging and magazines in the recycling bin, along with tins that I rinse out. I’ve heard in the past that quite a lot of recycling ends up in landfill sites anyway, but I do my bit when I can. However, I wouldn’t bother trying to wash out fiddly empty toothpaste tubes – they go straight into the rubbish bin.

At the moment we are not suffering drought conditions, but sometimes there is a hosepipe ban and we are told not to wash cars or water the garden. In this case I would conserve water and instead of rinsing out tins I’d put them straight into the rubbish bin.

My father instilled in me never to waste water. He did National Service in Egypt and was given only a pint of water per day to wash and shave in. Some people leave taps running when they clean their teeth, but I was always told not to do that and even today still cannot do this. If I have a bath I only fill it up about 6 – 8 inches from the bottom. Water is a finite resource; more and more houses are being built and I wonder whether we will suffer more from drought conditions as the population increases? It’s quite a worrying prospect.

What would you do?