A recycling plant rejected two lorry loads of paper and card collected from the area’s blue wheelie bins after they found plastic bottles, chipboard and other rubbish in the delivery.
Even though waste workers had removed a coat, a chair and other random rubbish from the load of paper and card before it was sent on to the recycling plant, there were still too many other items for it to be recycled when it arrived.
North East Lincolnshire Council has seen an increase in the number of households putting the wrong items in their recycling bins in recent weeks.
When people put the wrong things in their recycling bins, it can contaminate an entire wagon load and result in it being rejected at the recycling plant.
Each recycling bin is clearly labelled with symbols showing what to put in it.
Bin crews check the contents of bins before they empty them. If they find the wrong items in the bin, they won’t empty it.
Instead, they will leave a red ‘Ooops!’ tag on the handle. 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.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said
“I’m grateful to everyone who uses their recycling bins and makes the effort to recycle as much as they can.
“More and more of us are recycling and it really helps when people put the right things in the right bin.
“A small number of households are putting the wrong items in the recycling bins. This contaminates the whole load and can mean the materials are rejected by the reprocessing plants.
“If you put the wrong things in your bin, we won’t empty it. That could mean you have to wait another month for us to empty it.
“We’ve seen a fall recently in the prices offered for paper and card by recycling plants. This often means there is a surplus in the market and they are more likely to reject contaminated loads.”
“Earlier this month, we distributed a Christmas holiday recycling leaflet to households across the area, it includes a handy guide to your bins.
“If you’re not sure, check online at www.nelincs.gov.uk/recycling.”
What goes in the recycling bins?
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. Household waste that can’t be recycled goes in the green bin.
On one side of the red tag it says, ‘Ooops! We didn’t empty your bin today because it contains items that can’t be recycled. Please remove these items and we’ll empty your bin next time. Check www.nelincs.gov.uk/bins to see what you CAN recycle in this bin.
On the other side it says, ‘Never put these in your recycling’ and there are photos of items people often put in the recycling but can’t be recycled. These items include crisp packets, polystyrene, nappies, clothing and broken toys.