UNDER a tough new regime, recycling bins in Sleaford which are not used correctly will not be emptied.
North Kesteven District Council has rolled out a new policy to encourage better recycling standards among all residents in the town and across the district.
From October 8, all green-lidded recycling bins will be inspected before being emptied to make sure they do not contain items which should not be in them.
Bins found to be contaminated – with items such as soiled nappies and dirty food containers – will be left with a label explaining the problem and asking for the offending items to be taken out before the next collection, two weeks later.
Contamination covers all items which are wrongly put in recycling bins. In some cases, pet litter and dead animals have even been found in recycling bins, making the entire bin, and potentially the entire lorry load, unfit to be recycled.
It can also cover items that can not be recycled under the district council's recycling contract, such as bedding, electrical goods, crisp packets, wood and even carrier bags.
The new rules have been introduced as having contamination bins comes at a cost to the council, which directly impacts on council tax.
Every recycling load refused by NKDC's contractors costs around £1,200 plus the expense of having to tip the waste as landfill rubbish.
Councillor Geoff Hazlewood, executive board member at NKDC with responsibility for recycling, said: "It's so important to get it right first time and only place items in the recycling bin that you know can be safely and successfully recycled.
"If in doubt, leave it out of the green-lidded bin, consult your tag saying what can be recycled and if it's not on there either put it in the black bin or think of other ways to dispose of it such as at the tip, via bulky collection, composting or at a charity shop."
North Kesteven has one of the best recycling rates in the country with residents recycling more than 50 per cent of their waste.
Mr Hazelwood added: "This is a real credit to the partnership we have with our residents and it's important that we continue to maintain our excellent record.
"Our recycling is hand sorted before being mechanically sorted hence we are reiterating the rules around recycling and repeated incidences of incorrect waste disposal might result in non-collection, to ensure the health and safety of staff. Staff are touring the district and will be in various Co-ops and supermarkets with all the information residents need to deal with their waste."
Alternatively, the list has been printed on bin tags.
Further help is also available through NKDC's refuse hotline on 0800 174497.