Reduce My Rubbish
What can you do?More
When items we can’t recycle are put in your household recycling bins, it is called contamination.
It’s a problem in Norfolk and across the UK because it makes sorting your material much more difficult and reduces the value of the what we collect for recycling.
Norfolk’s recycling material is sorted by hand and baled by machine in a purpose-built factory in Costessey. So it’s really important to keep your recyclables Clean, Dry & Loose.
Contamination can be:
And just because something says it can be recycled or has a recycling logo on it, it does not mean you can put it in your recycling bin in Norfolk.
In Norfolk we sample and check our recycling by hand to better understand what contaminants people are putting in their recycling bins.
The main items currently causing problems include:
Contamination isn’t good because it:
In extreme cases contamination causes an entire load of material, that was otherwise fine, to be rejected. The companies we sell our paper and card to send inspectors to check the quality of the material we are sending them. If they find food or a nappy in a bale of paper and card they will not accept any more of our material, until we pass future inspections. Paper and card that would have been going to them has to be sold to another company, which buys it at a lower price.
All this means a loss of income which costs the councils and therefore you, the taxpayer, money. And that money could have been used on other services.
These days everything seems to have at least one recycling symbol on it. That can make it confusing to understand what to put in your recycling bin. Take a look at what all those symbols mean here.