Blue bin abusers cost taxpayers Â£5,000 after dirty nappies and dog waste dumped in recycling
South Tynesiders who fail to follow recycling rules are costing the council cash as lorry loads are being turned away by contractors.
Dirty nappies, dog waste and used takeaway boxes are all being discovered in blue bins used by people to put their recyclable waste in for collection.
This is leading to recyclable waste becoming contaminated and contractors turning away loads costing the council upwards of £800 each time.
Last year, seven wagon loads of what the council has described as “very poor quality material” were rejected at the Processing Centre - at a cost of more than £5,000.
Speaking at a recent West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum, Bill McGill, technical office with the council said: “Over the last six months, pizza boxes have been a problem. It’s all about the process it goes through for recycling. If there’s food stuff in there or the grease, it can stop the recycling process.
This means that load, which include other cardboard and paper materials, is lost and unable to be recycled.
“As well as the financial impact, the people we supply to have very high standards so providing contaminated waste can have an impact on our relationship.”
Each year, around 12,000 tonnes of material is collected from homes. Of that 1,600 tonnes is paper and 10,500 tonnes is mixed material.
Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “It’s great news that the majority of the recyclable waste we collect is successfully recycled. However, there is much more to do and we are committed to further improving this figure.
“Unfortunately, there is a small minority of people who are placing material in their blue bins which are not suitable for recycling.
“It is really important that the material collected through the blue bin system is strictly recyclable to ensure that the processors of our recycling goods do not have cause to reject any loads from us.
“Our crews cannot collect any blue bins containing items that contaminate the load such as food waste, household and green waste, dog waste and used nappies. This also includes cardboard pizza or takeaway boxes which are stained with food residue. If in doubt, it is best to keep it out of the blue bin and follow the details in our leaflets, newsletters and website of the materials we are targeting for collection.
“We would appeal to members of the public to work with us on this issue. By doing so, it will help us to cut down the number of rejected loads which, in turn, will free up more of our valuable resources for vital services our residents rely on.”
Items which can be put into the blue bin include:
:: Clean food and drinks cans;
:: Glass bottles and jars;
:: Cardboard (except cardboard pizza or takeaway boxes stained or dirty with food residue);
:: Plastic bottles and even small electrical appliances;
:: Paper, junk mail, catalogues, newspapers and magazines go in the inner black caddy.
:: Textiles and clothing should be disposed of at recycling sites or using charity collections.
:: To find out more about what can and can’t be recycled, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/waste