Here are comments from two of the major recyclers in Australia:
To rinse or not?
Ever feel like you are wasting a ton of water
while rinsing out your recyclables? According to VISY, it is not
necessary to rinse out containers, but you do need to make sure all
food scraps are removed.
From SITA who recently took over WSN:
Rinse the containers to make sure they are clean and won't attract
From Planet Ark (respected environmental group)
One of the most
common questions about recycling is how clean do jars, cans and pizza
boxes need to be before they can go in the recycling bin.
Small amounts of food left don’t interfere with the glass and steel
recycling process. Scrape all the solid food scraps out of jars and
cans and then put them in the recycling bin. If you’re concerned about
having left over food in the bin you can lightly rinse out your jars
and cans. Using left over washing up or rinsing water is best as
there’s no point wasting good water just to wash recycling.
Looking at the different methods of processing:
Heating the aluminium to a temperature of 700°C changes it into a
liquid state. It is then cast into ingots, ready for delivery to
rolling mills where they are milled and remade into new products.
The single-colour cullet is put onto a conveyor belt and goes through
a special process called beneficiation, which removes contamination
such as bottle tops, metals, ceramics and labels. The cullet is then
crushed and sent to a glass furnace where it is added to the mix.
The plastics are either shredded, chopped or ground and then washed to
remove further contaminants. The plastic is melted and pushed through
an extruder, a bit like an old fashioned mincer or a spaghetti maker.
It is then cooled and pressed through a die and chopped or pelletised
into granules. It is then ready to be made into new products.
It would appear that neither bugs nor food scraps would put a spanner in the works. I assume there would also be some sort of prewash before it got to that stage.
It appears that a thorough rinse would be a hygiene thing for your own garbage bin, but not going to affect the process. However it is necessary to remove solid food object.