Tameside residents are being urged to put the right things in their blue bin, to help prevent whole lorry loads of recycling being rejected at a cost of thousands of pounds.
From April to October 2020, more than 340 lorry loads of Tameside paper and card recycling were rejected because they were too contaminated with other waste. The main contaminants were items such as general rubbish, nappies, plastic bags, packaging, food and polystyrene.
It amounted to more than 1,600 tonnes of waste and cost tax payers approximately £142,000, Tameside Council has said.
The authority is working with Recycle for Greater Manchester on a campaign, launched this week, to tackle the issue and encourage households to be more careful about what they put in their blue recycling bin - which should only contain clean paper and card.
As part of the Let’s Sort it Out campaign, residents will receive a bin shaped leaflet through their door which explains more about what can go in their blue bin.
Recycling crews will also leave tags on contaminated bins, reminding residents what can go in the blue bin and explaining that the bin cannot be emptied while it is contaminated as this could lead to a whole lorry load being rejected for recycling.
Recycle for Greater Manchester will also hold online education sessions, which residents and community groups are encouraged to join to ask questions. These will be promoted on social media.
Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Allison Gwynne, who is responsible waste and recycling, said: “Most residents are really responsible about recycling – they know it is better for the planet and for safeguarding limited public funds for vital local services.
“However we’re unfortunately seeing an increase in contaminated blue bins, which is leading to too many lorry loads being rejected – this is a waste of money and a waste of everyone else’s recycling efforts.
“We all need to do our bit to reduce the amount of waste we create and recycle correctly. Any contaminated blue bins will be tagged and I’m afraid we aren’t able to empty them until they contain only paper and card. I urge everyone to work with us on this to get it right and help us reduce the number of lorries being rejected for recycling and safeguard more of our limited funds for services that people really need and value.”
As part of the campaign, waste services manager Garry Parker has explained more about the issue with contaminated blue bins in a video, which you can watch at the top of the page.