Recycling contamination

If the wrong items are put in the recycling bin, it could mean a whole lorry load of recycling is rejected as contaminated when we send it to Envirosort. 

Contaminated recycling, which contains materials or items which we can't recycle through our collection service, has to be sent for incineration instead. It can also cause delays to our collection rounds and in emptying your bins.

Recycling contamination yellow tag on recycling binOops! yellow tag on your recycling

We all make mistakes. If you have put items in your green bin or clear recycling sack which we can't recycle, we cannot collect the contents and we'll leave a yellow 'Oops' tag on it to tell you what the contamination is.

Don't panic - you just need to:

  • Take the items that cannot be recycled out of your green bin or clear sacks and, depending on what the items are
  • Put them in your general waste or
  • Take them to your local household recycling centre.

When you have removed the contaminating items we can empty your green bin, or collect your clear sacks, on your next scheduled collection. Our crews are not able to make a special trip back to collect any bins or sacks that were marked contaminated. Use our checker to see what to do with items which we cannot recycle.

What happens if your bin is tagged

We know mistakes happen so if you put the wrong items out for collection:

  • On the first occasion, we tag your recycling as contaminated and we will not collect it. The tag will say what you need to remove before it is collected
  • If your recycling is contaminated on multiple occasions, waste management  will contact you and offer further advice and help to identify which items can and cannot be collected for recycling

Unfortunately, if, after this, you continue to contaminate your recycling, we may remove the recycling bin from your property

If we remove your recycling bin you will probably find that you do not have enough space in your black bin for all your rubbish. You will have to find another way to recycle such as taking your recycling to a household recycling centre. Any extra rubbish can also be taken to a household recycling centre.