With over 1,000 tonnes of collected recycling rejected in East Suffolk each year, costing the council thousands of pounds each month, residents are being asked to do their bit and make sure they put the right items into the right bin.
The equivalent of around 200 full waste trucks is rejected by the treatment facility because of contamination caused by incorrect items being placed into the recycling bin. This means that thousands of pounds in taxpayers’ money is also lost, given how much more expensive it is to process normal waste than recycling.
When incorrect items are put into the waste truck, the whole collection load may be rejected by the treatment facility and none of the waste collected will be recycled, even the good stuff.
The most common items to be incorrectly put into the recycling bin are glass bottles and jars, plastic bags (such as shopping bags and black waste sacks), food waste and cartons (such as Tetra Paks).
Cllr Mallinder, cabinet member for the Environment, said: “The majority of households in East Suffolk are good at recycling, but as we continue to deal with the challenges of climate change there is still a lot more we need to do to ensure we’re recycling the right items.
“Confusion can cause contamination, so we are determined to help households reduce the amount of wrong items they put in their recycling bins by making sure they know what can and cannot be recycled. This is important because there is a threshold of how much contaminated waste a truck load can have before it is rejected, so we need to make sure we are recycling right.
“East Suffolk Council declared a climate emergency last year and we all have a role to play in making better decisions for the sake of our environment. By thinking about how we dispose of our waste and making the right decisions, we all contribute to a solution. These small changes in our behaviour will make a big difference over time.”
East Suffolk Council wants to make it as easy as possible for residents to get their recycling right and if you’re unsure about what items can be put into the recycling bin, you can check online at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/waste/waste-collection-and-disposal/recycling/
If an item can’t be recycled through your household recycling bin, you might be able to recycle it at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre: www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk/a-z-of-recycling
You can find out helpful information about your waste collection services online, including checking your bin collection day and reporting a missed bin collection: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/waste/waste-collection-and-disposal/refuse-collection/