The council has asked residents to double-check what they are putting in each bin after a rise in recycling contamination rates.

More than 9 out of 10 households recycle correctly. In recent weeks however, bin crews have been increasing efforts to identify bins that have incorrect items in them and therefore cannot be recycled.

The council currently empties green, black and blue bins. Garden waste including flowers, grass cuttings, hedge clippings, plants and weeds can be put into green bins – but dog poo, stones or turf shouldn’t be put in them. Black bins are for general rubbish that cannot be recycled, including leftover food, plastic bags, nappies and wrappers.

Blue bins are for household items that can be recycled. This includes cardboard, glass, plastic food trays and tubs, paper, tins and cans and tin foil. However, there are a number of items that cannot go into blue bins which are increasingly being put into them. This includes any kind of plastic bag (for example, where residents are bagging-up their recyclables), hard plastics such as toys and coat hangers and polystyrene. Blue bins in particular are being checked more frequently by bin crews to ensure that contaminated recycling can be reduced as much as possible.

Guidance for households

To support households to recycle right and to reduce any chance of contaminating their recycled items, the council will be supplying blue bin guidance stickers to every household in the borough. These stickers will reiterate what can be put into recycling bins. A definitive list of what you can put in each bin is also available at warrington.gov.uk/bins. Items that cannot be put in a blue or black bin, such as building materials and electricals, can be taken to a community recycling centre.

If your bin is deemed to be contaminated, and you have registered for a MyWarrington account, you will be notified what incorrect item was found in your bin so that you can remove it for a future collection.

Cllr Hitesh Patel, cabinet member for environment, said: “We all need to do whatever we can to increase Warrington’s recycling rates. The old adage of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ has never been so important when we consider how we can all play our part to be more environmentally friendly, given the climate emergency.

“We appreciate that when bins aren’t emptied due to being contaminated this can be frustrating, but managing waste that is contaminated is costly both financially and environmentally. We want to support residents to make sure that our recycling rates are as high as possible and the guidance stickers we will be dropping off will provide further advice and guidance.

“With more than 85,000 households in Warrington, we have a lot of bins to empty! We’d therefore be very grateful if you can double-check what you put in your bins. Let’s keep doing our bit to improve our recycling rates.”

For more information, please visit warrington.gov.uk/bins