Putting the wrong items in your blue and green top bin contaminates your recycling and means none of it can be recycled and it has to be incinerated instead.
Watch our video on recycling contamination or read the contamination video transcript
Avoid contaminating your blue bin
Avoid contaminating your blue bin by:
- rinsing any items that have food on. You can do this with your washing up
- putting recycling in loose, not in bags
- check what to put in your blue top bin
If you do not have a wheelie bin, use a clear recycling sack. Do not use black sacks or plastic carrier bags.
Avoid contaminating your green bin
Avoid contaminating your green bin by:
- making sure your compostable bags have the seedling logo on
- only putting food and garden waste in it
- check what to put in your green top bin
What we'll do if your bin is contaminated from November 2022
From November 2022, if the wrong items are in your bin, we'll put a red tag on it and send you a letter explaining why.
You'll need to remove the item so that we can empty it the next time we visit.
If you contaminate your bin a second time, it will be tagged again and you'll get another letter. You'll need to remove the item so we can empty it.
If your bin is contaminated three times, we'll remove it permanently.
If communal bins are contaminated
When recycling bins are shared, it can be difficult to know how the wrong items end up in your bin.
If you live in a block of flats and your communal recycling bins are often contaminated, we'll advise residents about recycling.
If it keeps happening, we'll consider removing the bin. We'll give you free clear sacks so you can continue recycling.
Items to put in your black bin and not your recycling bins
To avoid contamination, use your black bin for items that cannot be recycled like food coated trays, nappies, tissues and coffee cups.
If you’re not sure what to do with an item, check where to recycle, donate or get rid of items.