Thoughtless bin-abusers are costing two councils nearly an estimated quarter-of-a-million pounds a year by contaminating recycling bins with the wrong waste including dead animals.
Bolsover District and NE Derbyshire District councils revealed nearly ten per cent of all recyclable collections through its burgandy bin scheme are contaminated and have to be sent for costly landfill disposal.
Cllr Nick Foster, NE Derbyshire District Council’s environment chief, said: “Many may not be aware that misusing their burgundy bin – whether by accident or on purpose – comes at a cost to the public purse.
“We would ask anyone who is not 100per cent sure about what can or can’t go in their recycling bin to have a look at the information on our websites or call their council for details.”
The councils stated their burgundy bin service collects on average 15,000 tonnes of recyclable waste each year including nine per cent which is waste which should have been put in black bins. They claim the cost for removing and disposing contaminant waste is approximately £170 per tonne which costs the authorities £230,000 a year.
Over the past couple of months an increase in contaminated waste such as food stuff, nappies and even dead animals has been found in burgundy bins which has to be removed and sent to landfill, according to the authorities.
Cllr Dennis Kelly, environment chief, said: “I would like to stress the positive and say our residents have been excellent recyclers for the most part so we thank them for that, but contamination is becoming a big problem.
“In recent months this has gone up - usually because people don’t understand what goes in the bin, but in a minority of cases it’s because people don’t care. We want to make sure people know what can go in the bins so we can recycle as much as possible and increase our recycling rates.”
It is believed some households are disguising contaminated waste by wrapping it up among recyclable materials so they do not fill up their black bins.
Since the burgundy bin scheme was launched in May 2011, the two councils have sent bin calendars to households every year which set out which waste goes in black, burgundy and green bins.
They have provided information packs and undertaken advertising campaigns on what can and cannot be recycled, but will now knock on culprits’ doors to inform them.
A variety of materials can be placed in burgundy bins for recycling including rigid and semi-rigid plastics, plastic bottles, containers, yoghurt and margarine tubs, glass, cardboard, paper, textiles, cans and small batteries - but plastic film and bags, unless they contain clothing and batteries, should be excluded.
More information on the burgundy bins can be found on the council’s websites www.bolsover.gov.uk/burgundy-bins and www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/burgundybin.