More than 1,300 tonnes of recycling is being lost from Wychavon’s households due to people putting the wrong thing in their green bin.

Every year, about ten per cent of the content of Wychavon’s green bins has to be sent for incineration because it either contains too many non-recyclable items or recyclables that have unfortunately been spoiled by liquids, grease or food waste.

Last year this amounted to more than 1,349 tonnes. A check on one lorry during February found that 26% of the contents were non-recyclable. Items incorrectly put into green bins and sent for recycling included shoes, a coat hanger, a kids bucket, nappies and manure.

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Overall, the wrong items most commonly put into the green bin are clothing, food waste and electrical items.

Households across Wychavon are now being urged to ensure they get their recycling right to help increase the amount of recycling turned into new products.

Wychavon is working on a new campaign that will see new information provided to residents about what can and cannot be put into the green bin. Spot checks will also be carried out by crews and bins found to be too badly contaminated will not be emptied.

Although non-recyclable waste is sent to the Energy from Waste Plant to be burnt to create electricity, it is not as effective or as environmentally friendly as recycling.

Recycling uses 95% less energy to make new products than using raw materials. For instance, recycling a bleach bottle can save enough energy to power a street light for six and a half hours. Recycling just one drink could save enough energy to power a TV for 4 hours.

As well as leading to wasted recycling, putting the wrong thing in the green bin can also damage machinery at the sorting plant, putting workers who hand sort at risk and increase costs due to the need for more sorting by hand.

Crucially, it also makes it difficult to sell items to be recycled into new products as the quality is poor and companies do not want to buy them.

Cllr Emma Stokes, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Recycling and Street Scene on Wychavon District Council, said: “We are really pleased at how the residents of Wychavon have embraced recycling. Unfortunately, there are issues around non-recyclables going into the green bins. I encourage residents to check the www.letswasteless.com website for information on the correct recyclable materials before putting anything in the green bin.”

What can go in your green bin?

You CAN recycle in your green bin:

  • Plastic bottles, tubs, pots and trays – all colours except black
  • Aerosol cans
  • Food tins
  • Drinks cans
  • Cartons
  • Cardboard (Flatten boxes, no glitter)
  • Paper ( No glittery or foil paper)
  • Glass bottles (All colours. If on a sack collection take to a bring bank)
  • Glass Jars (All colours, If on a sack collection take to a bring bank)

Please rinse clean items and put them loose in your green bin and not in a plastic bag.

Tops, lids and caps can be left on bottles, jars and aerosols.

You CANNOT recycle in your green bin:

Tissues

Wet wipes

Cotton wool

Carrier bags

Bin bags

Food waste

Crisp packets

Sanitary waste

Nappy waste

Black plastic

Animal litter

Animal bedding

Food pouches

These items should go in your black bin.

Clothing can be put into a separate bag and put next to your black bin. We will then take it for recycling.

Small electrical items such as a kettle, can be put on top of your black bin. We will then take them for recycling.

You should never put needles in your green or black bin.

For more information visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling

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