Lincoln residents urged to use right bin
A new information campaign is being launched in a bid to clean up Lincoln's waste recycling.
The best efforts of those who carefully follow guidelines for what goes in their brown bins are increasingly being undermined by those who put in items that should not be included.
Now, the City of Lincoln Council has teamed up with its waste collection partners Cory Environmental and Lincolnshire County Council to try a new way of getting people to understand what can be recycled.
Stickers will soon be attached to every brown recycling bin making it clear what materials can be accepted.
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And a new style of tags will be used. Tags are wrapped round people's bin handle if their waste is contaminated explaining why their bin has not been emptied and reminding them which materials can be deposited in the bin.
The council's community services manager Caroline Pritchard said: "Contamination is the big problem. In recent months this has gone up quite a bit – usually because people don't understand what goes in the bin but, in a small minority of cases, because people don't care.
"We then pass the waste on to the County Council who are telling us the contamination level is high which risks increasing costs.
"I would like to stress the positive and say that Lincoln's residents have been excellent recyclers for the most part so we thank them for that.
"We want to make sure that people know what can go in the bins so we can recycle as much as possible and keep up that good record."
Daily samples are taken to measure contamination levels which are currently running at around 10 per cent.
Contamination at those levels can mean whole loads being rejected, undoing the efforts of people who do take care with their recycling.
The stickers will outline what can be recycled in the brown bins and the aim is to reduce contamination levels to below 5 per cent.
Items that can be placed in the brown recycling bins are: glass, paper, food and drink cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and food and drink cartons.
The three main items mistakenly included are textiles, black bin bags and food waste.
Once the recycling material is collected it is handed over to Virador, the county council's recycling contractor who sorts the items ready for recycling.
Any contaminated material is rejected and sent to landfill which incurs extra cost.
The new tags will show people what can be placed in their bin, ask them to remove the contamination and then present their bin for emptying next time.