Slough Borough Council is reminding residents to watch what they throw in their red bins following a rise in the amount of contaminated recycling.
The contents of the borough’s recycling bins are taken to Grundon recycling plant in Colnbrook where they are assessed before being processed. A growing number of deliveries are being rejected because they contain too many items that can’t be recycled.
Plastic bags, clothes, food and electrical appliances are often found, none of which can be recycled using the red bins.
Dirty nappies, the contents of vacuum cleaners and even a whole vacuum cleaner have also been seen.
Nick Hannon, from the council’s waste and environment team, said: “Contaminated recycling ends up being disposed of as normal waste, which costs the taxpayer three times as much and isn’t as kind to the environment.
“It’s becoming more and more of a problem, to the point where we’re now removing recycling facilities from Asda and Tesco.
“It seems a shame that so many residents go to the trouble of recycling properly but their efforts are being undermined by others who either aren’t paying attention to what they throw away or they’re misusing the red bins.”
Council bin men can refuse to collect bins if they contain the wrong items.
They place stickers on the offending bins, explaining the reasons why, and then arrange for a follow-up letter to be sent to the residents concerned.
Only mixed paper and card, plastic bottles, mixed glass (bottles and jars), food tins and drinks cans should be put in the red bins.
All other items should be put in the black bins or taken to the household waste and recycling centre at Chalvey.
Slough also has a number of recycling ‘bring banks’ for specific items such as textiles and electrical items.
Councillor Satpal Parmar, commissioner for environment and open spaces, said: “I’m pleased people are using their red bins because it shows recycling has become a part of people’s daily routines.
“However, we now need to focus on quality rather than quantity.
“I urge people to take a few extra seconds to check they’re using the correct bin.”
Next week is annual recycling week (22-28 June). For more information visit: www.recyclenow.com
Click here for more information about waste and recycling in the borough.
If in doubt – put it in the black bin!