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Council urges residents to 'bin it right' and help combat contamination rates

People are being encouraged by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to do their bit to help reduce waste contamination rates.

Used plastic bottles being recycled

On average across the borough, 10% of all items in a general waste bin could have been recycled and 15% of items found in the recycling bin are items which cannot be recycled. In some areas of Great Yarmouth, this increases to almost 30%.

Other types of contamination include:

  • 70% of the card found in rubbish bins could have been recycled
  • 11% of all the wrong things in recycling bin was food waste
  • 25% of all contamination was nappies, ceramics and electrical

This means those bins can't be emptied, because incorrect items can lead to that bin and the entire contents of the lorry becoming contaminated, meaning none of the waste can be recycled.

As well as having a negative impact environmentally, it also has a harmful economic effect. There is an additional estimated cost of £65 to recover or dispose of one tonne of waste rather than being able to reuse or recycle it.

Items that can be recycled include glass jars and bottles, plastic food pots, tubs and food trays, aluminium foil and foil trays, juice and soup cartons, newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, envelopes, leaflets, directories and wrapping paper. People simply need to make sure items are clean, dry and not bagged when they go into the green bin.

But nappies, clothing, food waste, electricals, paper towels and tissues cannot go into the green bin.

Cllr Paul Wells, who chairs Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Environment Committee, said: "Contamination rates remains an issue across the county, with people putting the wrong waste items into their recycling bins every week.

"Reducing our contamination is really important in minimising our collective impact on the environment and is everyone's responsibility. We must all play our part in educating ourselves on what can and cannot be recycled."

More information about what can and cannot be recycled in Norfolk can be found at Norfolk Recycles or via Twitter and Facebook: @NorfolkRecycles

Last modified on 02 January 2024

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