East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) is appealing for people’s help to combat contamination by not putting plastic bags in recycling bins.
When a non-recyclable item is put in a recycling bin, the materials are said to be ‘contaminated’ and have to go to landfill instead of being recycled.
Plastic bags cannot be recycled in East Northamptonshire, and they are contaminating more and more recycling bins.
To raise awareness of this problem, ENC’s waste officers will be monitoring waste contents alongside collection crews over a period of several months.
The collection crew and officers will ‘red tag’ contaminated bins and leave a letter outlining the issue and how to deal with the problem for next collection.
Waste manager at ENC Charlotte Tompkins said: “It’s so disheartening when a plastic bag is spotted in the recycling because it means all the efforts gone in to collecting the recycling has been undone.
“We simply can’t take recycling in that form, and it’s not safe for our crew members to sift through the bins to pick out the rubbish.
“There are so many other ways to re-use the 5p bags you buy at the supermarkets.
“Rather than as bin bags, why not keep using them for your shopping?”
For more information on what goes in the recycling bin, visit www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/recycling.