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Cat litter, guttering and a football – three odd items found in recycling bins

1:15 pm, Monday, 14th June 2021 - 3 years ago

Bins, waste and recycling

North East Lincolnshire Council rejected more than 1,400 recycling bins in six months after householders put the wrong things in them.

Recycling crews found items including cat litter, guttering, a football, carpets, roof felt and vacuum cleaner parts in recycling bins.

In December, the Council started leaving red tags on bins when householders put the wrong things in them. Since then, 1,416 bins have been tagged. Out of all the bins tagged, only 64 households put the wrong things in their bin a second time.

Crews are now using the tags on several rounds. 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.

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.

Right thing, right bin

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

Most households received an instruction booklet with their new bins, another booklet before Christmas and another with a calendar in February.

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

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:

“When you put the right thing in the right bin, it means the quality of recycling we collect from your household is high and can be used to make something else.

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

“Heavily contaminated recycling is not as valuable, and the reprocessing plants will reject it if it is below the standards they expect.

“Tagging bins is one way we are helping households provide better quality recycling.

“Recycling helps prolong the lives of materials and products we use, such as plastics, metals and paper.

“A huge amount of energy and material resources goes into making a plastic bottle or a drinks can, so it’s important that we make the most of them. This helps reduce the damage caused to the natural environment.

“Recycling plays a key role as the country moves to a more circular economy and helps us keep resources in use for as long as possible.”

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