Glass bottles and jars, plastic trays, textiles, nappies, garden waste and plastic toys are just some of the things that have been found in recycling bins collected from homes across the Mansfield District in recent months.
Mansfield District Council is calling on its residents to be more vigilant when recycling after finding that in some cases up to 15% of materials put out for collection are contaminants.
The Council operates a fortnightly kerbside recycling collection service. The items that can be recycled through this service are paper and card, plastic bottles, yogurt pots and food tins, drink cans and aerosols
However items which are not accepted for recycling are often finding their way into the recycling bins. These include plastic food trays and wrapping, textiles, food waste and glass.
If a refuse collection vehicle is found to contain incorrect materials (contamination) the entire load could be rejected and sent to landfill. This would cause all the recyclable material within the load to be wasted and the Council would incur large financial penalties, which would then have to be passed back through council tax bills to local residents.
If a blue bin is found to contain incorrect materials, trained and experienced operatives will place a sticker on it. This sticker informs the resident that the bin has not been emptied because it contains incorrect materials and requests the removal of the contamination from the blue bin. The bin is then collected on the resident’s next blue bin collection day.
Coun Philip Shields, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “Last year Mansfield residents recycled 37% but, unfortunately, a small minority of people are putting the wrong items in their blue bin, which ruins the efforts of everyone else that has disposed of their waste carefully. If residents are unsure of what they can and can’t put in their blue bin, they can call us on 01623 463 463 and we will send you some recycling information.”