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Don’t let the ‘Ridiculous Six’ ruin your recycling!

Published Thursday, 16 March 2017

Last year, East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) recycled over 46% of household waste in the district.

Due to the fantastic efforts made by our residents, we forecast this figure will rise further this year, so we thank you very much for all your hard work.

However, residents are being urged to remind themselves what can and cannot be recycled, in a bid to cut down contamination in our recycling bins, as unfortunately there are limits to what we can collect for recycling.

ENC wants to help residents to stop putting the wrong items in their recycling bins, as this led to a 12% contamination rate in 2016.

You can help by getting to know the ‘Ridiculous Six’ and making sure nothing on this list goes in your recycling bin.

  1. Garden waste - We offer a separate collection service for this.
  2. Electrical items - These can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
  3. Nappies - Grey/black lidded bin, please.
  4. Tissues/kitchen roll - Grey/black lidded bin, please.
  5. Expanded polystyrene - Grey/black lidded bin, please.
  6. Black sacks/carrier bags - Grey/black lidded bin, please.

Councillor Steven North, Leader of ENC, said: “The returns we receive on good quality recycling can be put straight back into our services. However, when we receive contaminated recycling, these returns can turn into costs – to the tune of ten times that of what could have been gained from a bin of good quality recycling. So we’re asking residents to make sure they are putting items in the correct bin to maximise all opportunities to recycle.”

ENC’s Waste Manager, Charlotte Tompkins, added: “We have instructed our crews to be more vigilant in spotting contamination, so you may see greater numbers of red tags being issued over the district in the coming months. With your help, we can cut down contamination, helping to reduce both service costs and our impact on the environment.”

If bin men find any contaminants in your recycling bin, they may issue your bin with a red tag. A red tag means that ENC has not been able to empty your recycling bin due to it being contaminated with the wrong materials.

If you receive a red tag, there’s no need to worry, but there are a number of things you can do:

  • Remove any items of contamination from your recycling bin. This will ensure it is collected next time around. Head to ENC's recycling page for a reminder of what can/cannot be recycled.
  • If your bin is full, you can present recycling in clear sacks and/or cardboard boxes. You can put out as much recycling to the side of your bin as you like and it will all be collected (provided it is not contaminated and presented appropriately).
  • You can take any excess recycling and/or waste to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), run by Northamptonshire County Council. There are 10 HWRCs in the county and you are entitled to use any one of them as a Northamptonshire resident.
  • If you feel you’re still struggling, or are unsure of what the contamination is, please call the Waste Management team on 01832 742026.