Bin contamination - World Recycling Day

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Bin contamination is a growing problem across the UK, which means putting your rubbish in the right bin has never been more important.

Bin contamination

What is bin contamination?

Bin contamination happens when rubbish is thrown in the wrong bin, such as food waste in a recycling bin or vice-versa.

It most often happens unintentionally - dirty glass bottles or plastic bags find their way into the recycling bin - but it can lead to a whole truckload of recyclable waste going to landfill.

How does it affect you?

Local authorities will refuse to collect recycling bins contaminated with non-recyclables, which means we need to arrange additional collections.

In the last year, we spent over £475,000 removing improperly disposed of waste (fly tipping and contaminated bins), costs we passed on to our residents in their service charge.

And with the amount of rubbish going to landfill increasing year-on-year, we want to make sure we are doing our bit to help the environment wherever we can.

What can you do to reduce bin contamination?

  • Empty and rinse all containers before throwing them away.
  • Look out for recycling labels on packaging to help identify whether it can be recycled.
  • Don’t forget to recycle items from all rooms in the house such as shampoo bottles in your bathroom.
  • Most plastic bags including shrink wrap, bubble wrap, Ziploc bags and black bin bags can’t be recycled.
  • If you’re not sure what you can and can’t recycle, check your council website, as it differs from council to council.

You can report fly-tipping online at