Can you help fight contamination?

Date Published: 07 October 2021

We're entering a new era of recycling in North Kesteven thanks to your support. Lots of fantastic quality paper and card was collected last week thanks to households making great use of their purple-lidded or purple bins to keep it dry, clean and separate from other recycling.

It's really important we now tackle contamination in green-lidded bins, and we need your help ahead of our collections of them next week, from 11 October. 

If your green-lidded bin contains the wrong things, we unfortunately won't be able to empty it.

The wrong items going in recycling bins is a growing problem across the county, and impacts on how much can be successfully recycled. 

We're asking households to make sure their green-lidded bins only contain the right items such as plastic tubs and bottles, glass, tins and cans.

Teams will be out checking what’s in green-lidded bins. Where these bins contain wrong items, they can't be emptied. If this happens, a green tag will be left indicating which items caused this.

We never want to leave a bin unemptied, but sometimes it's necessary when dealing with contamination. Several wrong items in a bin can make the rest of the recycling inside it damp or stained and render items unusable. It's also about making sure other recycling collected on our routes isn't contaminated by it too. 

If your bin is rejected, you'll need to remove the items which contaminated it and present the bin at the next green-lidded recycling collection.

Did you know? The wrong items we find in green-lidded bins include everything from soft plastics, film lids and crisp packets to sometimes used tissues, nappies and dog waste!

What can be recycled in green-lidded bins hasn't changed - aside from that we now ask you to put clean, dry paper and cardboard in your purple-lidded or purple bin only (unless it's soiled or shredded and therefore needs to go in the black bin where it'll be made into electricity from waste).

This is about being clearer with everyone on what can't go in green-lidded bins, so we can each ensure what is recyclable is kept in top condition and recycled as we want to see.

We understand that recycling can be complex, with so many materials and items out there. It's easy to make mistakes, and we'll help and give advice where we can on our rounds next week.

If you can, please take a moment before collections to check our Right Thing Right Bin leaflet on our recycling page. It'll help you make sure the items in your green-lidded bin are the right ones.

There's also an A-Z of recycling. If you can't find the answer to something, you can always ask us

So, what can't go in green-lidded bins?

At a glance, items which must not go in green-lidded bins include:

  • Paper and cardboard (such as paper, magazines, newspapers, greetings cards without glitter/foil, cereal packets, household packaging, etc. These should go in your purple or purple-lidded bin only, or in the black bin if damp, soiled or shredded), never the green-lidded bin.
  • Any takeaway packaging (black bin only for this even if it looks clean, unless it’s clear or light plastic which is rinsed and dry)
  • Tissues or kitchen roll (black bin only)
  • PPE such as masks (black bin only for these, bagged)
  • Batteries or electrical items (these should not go in any household bins as they cause a hazard, but taken to your local recycling centre instead).
  • Soft plastics such as plastic bags and bread bags (these can go instead to soft plastics collection points at various shops and supermarkets or the black bin if not possible)
  • Polystyrene (black bin only for this)
  • Clothes/textiles (these can go to your recycling centre or donation points, or if not possible can go in the black bin as a last option)
  • Food pouches and crisp packets (local Terracycle schemes may be able to help, or put in the black bin if not possible)
  • Black or brown plastic food trays (black bin only)
  • Hard plastics e.g. old toys, plant pots (these are best being donated if in good condition, taken to your local household recycling centre or if not possible then the black bin as a last option with all batteries removed)
It's Green-Lidded bin collections next week