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Bins left unemptied in crackdown on ‘wrong’ rubbish items

PUBLISHED: 07:17 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:59 09 October 2020

Mrs Wise and Mr Howard were left confused about why a red sticker had been placed on their recycling bin. PHOTO: Jason Howard

Mrs Wise and Mr Howard were left confused about why a red sticker had been placed on their recycling bin. PHOTO: Jason Howard

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Recycling bins have been left on the street with red stickers as a council cracks down on incorrect items left by residents.

The bin label put on Mr Howard and Mrs Wise's recycling bin. PHOTO: Jason HowardThe bin label put on Mr Howard and Mrs Wise's recycling bin. PHOTO: Jason Howard

People putting any non-recycleable rubbish in the bins did not have them emptied earlier this week in parts of the East Suffolk Council patch, including in Lowestoft.

Jason Howard, 52, who lives with his mother Marion Wise, 80, in The Croft, Lowestoft, said it had left him “confused”.

Mr Howard and Mrs Wise had a red sticker placed on their recycling bins on Monday, October 5, telling them that the recycling waste had not been collected because a piece of black plastic was placed in the bin.

Mr Howard said: “I have always been happy to take part in recycling. However, I did not foresee that it would be required of me to attain a science degree in chemicals and plastics engineering in order to understand which product type is allowed to go in the blue bin for recycling.

Neighbours on the street also have uncollected bins. PHOTO: Jason HowardNeighbours on the street also have uncollected bins. PHOTO: Jason Howard

“There is less that I can now put in the recycle bin. If I accidentally place an unknown material in the recycling, nothing gets taken away at all.”

Mr Howard claimed that he and his mother have no choice but to place their recycling waste in the black bin.

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East Suffolk Norse has been carrying out spot checks this week due to seeing an increase in contamination of recycled waste. Bins which have contained non-recyclable items have been left with a sticker explaining why it was not emptied.

Mr Howard and Mrs Wise have been forced to put recycling waste in the black bin. PHOTO: Jason HowardMr Howard and Mrs Wise have been forced to put recycling waste in the black bin. PHOTO: Jason Howard

In 2019/20, 8,921 tonnes of wrong material were put in Suffolk’s household recycling bins, resulting in a contamination rate of 17pc, which the council said was bad for the environment and taxpayer.

James Mallinder, the council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “There is still a lot more we need to do to ensure we’re recycling the right items.

“I know that confusion can cause contamination, but we are determined to help households reduce the amount of wrong items they put in their recycling bins by making sure they know what can and cannot be recycled. This is important because there is a threshold of how much contaminated waste a truck load can have before it is rejected, so we need to make sure we are recycling right.

“By thinking about how we dispose of our waste and making the right decisions, we all contribute to a solution.”


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