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Ashford Borough Council warns against incorrect items in recycling bins in a new crackdown

Ashford Borough Council have warned that recycling bins will not be collected if the incorrect items are placed inside in a new crackdown.

Yellow ‘warning’ stickers were issued by Biffa issued last year to indicate incorrect items placed in the bin, and warned if they were found again the bin would not be collected.

Following the crackdown, the council reporteded residents made efforts to improve recycling habits.

New recycling crackdown in Ashford
New recycling crackdown in Ashford

But standards have reportedly slipped with a significant amount of unrecyclable materials being placed in recycling bins, resulting in some waste loads being rejected.

A spokesman for Ashford Borough Council said: “Once again we are cracking down on contamination by encouraging residents to recycle smart to ensure their bins are collected.

“We are working closely with Biffa to ensure that the recycling collected is of the highest quality, but we need our residents to help us achieve this.

“Biffa staff will now be checking what is being placed in recycling bins to try and ensure that the loads collected are clean and can be recycled.

“If Biffa find an unrecyclable item in your recycling bin, unfortunately the crew will not collect it for that week. We advise you to take your waste to the KCC Household Recycling Centre for disposal instead.

“Your recycling bin will be collected upon your next recycling collection, provided the correct items are present.

“We need to make sure we are collecting recycling that can be recycled in our area. If you are unsure whether a particular

item can be recycled, consult your Wheel of Waste or visit our website for more information.”

Ashford Borough Council are cracking down on recycling
Ashford Borough Council are cracking down on recycling

The contractors will look out for items seen incorrectly placed in recycling loads such as carrier bags, dark plastic food trays, sanitary waste and garden items.

Every waste load rejected at the recycling plant costs both the local authority as waste contractors and the county council as waste disposal. The cost for every truck load of waste rejected at the recycling plant is £14,000.

Any unrecyclable item can potentially contaminate a whole load, which could represent as many as 500 households that have carefully separated the right materials for recycling.

The council’s recycling service has become the country’s most improved recycling authority, and has been shortlisted for two categories in the 2015 National Recycling Awards.

The yellow bin warnings that can be issued
The yellow bin warnings that can be issued

Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio Holder for Public Interaction and Borough Presentation said: “We do appreciate that understanding which plastics are recyclable can be confusing!

“However, earlier this year we sent out a leaflet with top tips on recycling so it’s certainly worth residents referring to their copy.

“New EU regulations on what can and cannot be recycled mean we have been encouraging everyone to ‘recycle smart’ to reduce the amount of contamination found in our waste loads.

“Our Biffa crew have always checked the quality of recycling materials they are collecting, but due to recent loads being rejected at the recycling plant, now we are having to be stricter.

“Residents should not worry, the main items our crews will be looking for are sanitary waste like nappies, plastic carrier bags and black sacks, and soft plastics like crisp packets and sweet wrappers.”

For more information visit the Ashford Borough Council website via www.ashford.gov.uk/waste

Tips for recycling in Ashford

  • Dark plastic food trays from microwave meals for example, crisp packets and plastic or carrier bags are not recyclable. They should be placed in your grey refuse bin.
  • Hard plastics which hold their shape like detergent bottles and clear plastic food trays are recyclable.
  • Sanitary waste items such as nappies are not recyclable. They should be placed in your grey refuse bin.
  • Food waste packaging should be emptied of its contents and rinsed before placing in your green recycling bin.
  • Garden waste should be placed in your brown garden bin if you have one, not the green recycling bin. You can also take it to the KCC Household Recycling Centre.
  • Alternatively, you can compost your garden trimmings at home. Visit www.getcomposting.com
  • Any additional clean recycling can be put in a clear plastic bag and left it out on recycling week for Biffa to collect.
  • Any waste not in a clear plastic bag will not be collected. Space can be maximised in green recycling bins by flattening cardboard boxes and plastic bottles.
  • Check that bin lids are closed completely on collection day. Bin straps can secure bin lids down but should be removed before collection.
  • Bins will not be collected if the lid has been strapped down for the health and safety of the Biffa crew.
  • Although some products may carry a recycling symbol, this may be followed with “where facilities allow”.

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