Contamination is when the wrong items – such as bags of general rubbish, nappies, and dirty fast-food packaging – are put into a recycling bin.
It may not sound like a big problem.
But when recycling is contaminated, good quality recycling is spoiled.
A little contamination has a big impact.
If there is too much contamination in the truck, it can mean that none of the material can be recycled.
We have to incinerate it instead.
Contamination causes problems at the recycling plant. It can clog up with the machinery used to sort different materials and has to be removed by hand.
Contamination is costly in terms of both money and the environment because it costs more to incinerate than it does to recycle.
From November 2022, we will no longer empty recycling bins that contain the wrong items. This is both the blue top bin and green top bin.
If you put the wrong things in your bin, a red tag will be put on it, and we'll send you a letter.
You'll need to remove the incorrect items so that your bin can be emptied when our recycling crews return the following week.
The good news is that contamination is easy to avoid by making sure that you put the right thing in the right bin. If you're unsure about whether something can be recycled, check our online website.