Nearly 7,000 ‘contaminated’ bins went uncollected last month because they contained the wrong type of rubbish, a council has revealed.
Householders’ waste in Wolverhampton was left unemptied as part of a council crackdown which has seen workers check recycling rubbish in residents’ bins.
Those found to be contaminated with items such as electrical items, nappies, textiles and food are being left unemptied for another two weeks.
A sticker is placed on the bins and a card posted through the door advising householders to separate their waste properly.
In July some 6,700 bins went uncollected, it was revealed today.
Bosses at Wolverhampton City Council say they will continue with the scheme as they hope it will lead to a drop in the amount of wrong rubbish which is put out.
And officials say some residents didn’t realise what they could and couldn’t put out for collection.
The crackdown has been launched as the authority says if the wrong items are sent for recycling it can slow down the process or damage the machinery which is used.
Head of commercial services Chris Huddart said: “We’ve had a positive response to the campaign and we’re hoping that by making people aware of what waste they can and cannot recycle in their black bin, it will lead to a substantial reduction in the amount of unrecyclable waste which is put out.
“This will in turn mean we can turn much more of our waste into reusable products in the future.
“People in Wolverhampton are really supportive of the recycling service, and we already recycle nearly 50 per cent of all our household waste, which is a phenomenal achievement. If we can reduce the number of instances in which non-recyclable waste is mistakenly put in with the recycling, we can improve this even further.
“In July alone, we were unable to collect recycling on around 6,700 occasions.”
“It’s too early to calculate the full impact of the campaign as this is about changing people’s behaviour, which doesn’t happen overnight – but the initial signs are very encouraging and I’d like to thank residents once again for their enthusiasm for recycling.”
Wolverhampton City Council has come up with a cartoon character called ‘Stan Can’ to reinforce the message. Inspections are also carried out in neighbouring Walsall where at one stage more than 2,300 bins were left uncollected every fortnight.
The council revealed earlier this month that it spends £70,000 a year on communications for waste and recycling and the Stan the Can cartoon character and campaign has been funded from that budget.
Almost 4,000 tons of food collected from homes in Wolverhampton was recycled last year, according to recent figures.
The 3,951 tons picked up between April 2012 and March this year was an 11 per cent increase on the previous 12 months. Figures also show that 35 per cent of households now use the food recycling service.