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A coffee machine, nappies and a duvet – just three random items found in recycling bins for paper and card

11:29 am, Tuesday, 2nd February 2021 - 3 years ago

Bins, waste and recycling

North East Lincolnshire Council started a trial on one of its bin rounds in December where crews leave red tags on bins when householders put the wrong things in them.

During the first month of the trial, crews tagged a total of 156 bins. The most common items crews found in the tagged bins include polystyrene, food waste, bubble wrap, plastic bags, nappies, wipes and types of plastic not recycled in the kerbside bins.

Some of the more random items found in the rejected bins include kitchen cupboards and a bike seat in the grey recycling bins, and bedding, carpet off-cuts and a coffee machine in the blue bins.

Each bin is clearly labelled with symbols showing what to put in them. Paper and card go in the blue wheelie bin. Washed plastic bottles, food tins and drink cans and glass bottles and jars go in the grey wheelie bin.

Contamination tags

If you find a red ‘Ooops!’ tag on your bin it means you have put something in the wrong bin.

The crew will not empty the tagged bins. The tags show people why the bins were not emptied.

Households that are given a tag need to check their bins and take out anything that is in the wrong bin. The crews will then empty the bin on the next scheduled collection day.

Visit to check what you can put in your bins.

Information booklets

Most households received an instruction booklet with their new bins and another booklet before Christmas.

The booklets include helpful lists of items that can and can’t be recycled in the blue or grey bin.

Sorting recycling helps create a better-quality product for reprocessing. Increased recycling saves energy and helps us transform existing items into something new.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who uses the new bins correctly, but a small number of households are putting the wrong items in the recycling bins.

“We’re bringing in the tags to encourage people to put the right thing in the right bin.

“Putting the wrong thing in the wrong bin can contaminate the whole load. If people put the wrong things in their recycling bins, we will not empty them until they put it right.

“Paper and card collected from some rounds recently was rejected by the reprocessing plant because the load was contaminated.

“When the lorry was unloaded, workers found wallpaper, chip board, carpet, bedding and food packaging. None of these things go in the blue bins, the blue bins are for paper and card.”

Cllr Swinburn added:

“We collect good quality recycling in North East Lincolnshire and I’m proud to say our recycling stays in the UK to be processed.

“We are now rolling out the tags in other parts of the borough to make sure the quality of our recycling is as good as it can be.”

Trial areas

Crews are now using the tags on several rounds. Waste and recycling staff will monitor levels of contamination.

Education officers will send letters to and visit those who repeatedly put the wrong items in the recycling bins and help them get it right.

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