Nappies and leftover pizza are costing Wigan Borough council tax-payers thousands of pounds – because householders are putting them in the wrong bin.
In the past two months the cost to the taxpayer has been £40,000 as 19 wagon loads of blue bin recycling have been rejected because of contamination.
Through The Deal, by residents recycling more and recycling right, the council can keep council tax low.
It costs Wigan Council up to £2,000 for each contaminated load.
The blue bin is used to recycle paper and cardboard only but Wigan Council is finding the wrong items are more frequently being put in the bin, with nappies and leftover pizza being the biggest culprit.
The council is adopting a zero tolerance approach to blue bin contamination to stop the problem from growing.
Officers have already carried out enforcement in contamination hotspots. More than 1,000 residents who were found to have contaminated bins have been contacted and help has been offered to them to help them manage their waste and recycling.
Blue bins containing contamination will be labelled with a red contamination sticker. The stickers will give the reason why the bin has not been collected.
Residents can be issued with a section 46 notice for having contaminated bins after which a fixed penalty notice can be issued.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment at Wigan Council, said:
“Recycling more and recycling right is one of the easiest ways we can save taxpayer’s money and we’re usually very good at it, but we need every household to play their part – that’s how The Deal works.
“Red stickers will be issued on bins which have contamination and we hope residents affected will understand that it benefits us all to recycle the right waste in the right bin.
“If residents are unsure about what goes where they can visit our website to find out more.”
To help reduce contamination, residents are reminded to:
- Put nappies in the black bin
- Remove all food, including pizza crusts from boxes. The food can then be recycled in the green bin
- Remove magazines from their plastic wrapping.
Help and advice can be given to residents who are unsure or confused what goes in what bin by visiting our page which bin do I use? or by contacting the council on 01942 404364.