People who toss landfill waste into their recycling bins in the Bolsover area could find themselves getting a knock on their door in future.
Bolsover District Council says non-recyclable materials being dumped in the wrong household bins is costing taxpayers £230,000 a year.
The council says that nearly 10 per cent of materials collected through the burgundy bins are contaminated with non-recyclable waste.
Over the past few months an increase in contaminated waste such as food stuff, nappies and even dead animals have been found in burgundy bins, which has to be removed and sent to landfill.
The council’s burgundy bin service collects thousands of tonnes of recyclable waste each year, but the price of removing and disposing the waste, which should have been placed in the black bins, is around £170 per tonne.
Bolsover District Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Coun Dennis Kelly said: “Contamination is becoming a big problem.
“In recent months this has gone up quite a bit - usually because people don’t understand what goes in the bin but, in a small minority of cases, because people don’t care.”
They now plan to target the culprits by knocking on their doors and speaking face to face about what should be placed in the burgundy bins. They will also pass on leaflets and information packs listing what can be recycled.
Since the scheme was launched in May 2011, the council has sent bin calendars to households every year which set out which type of waste goes in black, burgundy and green bins.
A wide variety of materials can be placed in the burgundy bins for recycling including rigid and semi-rigid plastics, such as plastic bottles, containers, yoghurt and margarine tubs, etc, glass, cardboard, paper, textiles, cans and small batteries; but, excludes plastic film and bags, unless they contain clothing and batteries.