Tackling contaminated recycling

Recycling bins are being checked for contaminants such as:

Contamination Process

The aim of this process is to provide residents with information, advice and guidance. Ensuring they have all the tools and information they need to be able to recycle.

Our recycling crews are performing visual checks of recycling bins during their rounds. This is to check that recycling bins do not contain any items that aren't recyclable. If a recycling bin does contain any item(s) that aren't recyclable we deem this to be contamination.

One contaminated bin puts the whole load at risk of rejection. This has an impact on our recycling rate and the environment.

Step 1

If we deem your bin to include contamination we will not empty the bin. The crew member will place a sticker on the bin highlighting the contaminant. You should remove the highlighted item before your next collection date. 

Step 2

If the bin contains contaminants for a second week we will not empty the bin. The crew will place another sticker on the bin highlight the contaminant. We will also send you a letter and information leaflet with more details about recycling at home.

Step 3

If the bin contains contaminants for a third week we will not empty your bin. A member of our waste team will attempt to visit your property. The purpose of this visit to provide you with information, advice and guidance.

If we are unable to speak with you during this visit, we will leave a second letter at your property. The letter will tell you that if the contaminants are not removed, we will issue a Statutory Notice under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Step 4

If the bin contains contaminants for a fourth week, we will not empty your bin.

We will send a Statutory Notice under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to you by recorded delivery.

The Statutory Notice will require you to comply with refuse and recycling requirements. Failure to comply with such a notice is an offence, which may result in you receiving a fixed penalty notice, and/or a prosecution.

We will revisit your property in the 21 days following the Statutory Notice. The purpose of this visit is to ensure you are recycling correctly and complying with the terms of the Statutory Notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why introduce this process?

Over recent years, the council has worked to raise awareness of what goes in your recycling bins. We have undertaken a series of ‘door stepping’ campaigns. The aim was to remind residents of where to put their recyclables.

While the majority of residents do recycle, which we are very grateful for. Unfortunately, the minority still do not.

The process of ‘stickering’ bins is the next phase in raising awareness of what we can and cannot recycle.

It’s never been a problem before. Why, all a sudden is my bin not collected when it always has been in the past?

Contamination remains a real issue. Contamination is where incorrect items are being placed in recycling bins.

So, our recycling contractor rejects approximately 25% of our recycling. This is because of the level of contamination within the recycling is so high.

High levels of contamination cost the council (and of course the taxpayer) money.

To tackle this problem, the council has had to take this extra step to remind residents what to recycle.

What items can we recycle?

For more information on what we collect check our A-Z waste guide.

What items we cannot recycle?

For more information on what we will not collect, check out what goes in my recycling bin page.

Some items that Caerphilly say they can’t recycle, other authorities will recycle – why is this?

We have always tried to keep recycling as simple as possible for residents. We have tried to achieve this through a co-mingled collection system. This system is where all recyclable items go in the same recycling bin.

Other areas of Wales may accept items such as wrapping paper and polystyrene. In the main that is because they have different, often more complex methods of recycling than us.

We know that residents value our simple system and would be reluctant for us to change. So, we need our residents to come on board with us.

My bin wasn’t emptied this week and had a sticker left on it – what should I do?

You will receive a letter from the council before your next scheduled collection day. This will outline which non-recyclable item(s) were in your recycling bin.

If removed, we will collect your bin on your next scheduled collection day. If your recycling bin is overflowing, the council will also collect extra recycling. Please place any extras out in clear bags at the alongside your bin.

My bin wasn't emptied this week and is now full? If I remove the incorrect item, will you return to empty it?

The crews will not return to empty recycling bins until your next collection day. Please place any extras out in clear bags at the alongside your bin.

A passer-by must have placed incorrect items in my recycling bin – for example, dog waste. I don’t have a dog, what do I do?

This is a tricky one, but recycling placed out at the kerbside is a householder’s responsibility.

We recommend residents put their recycling out as late as possible the night before. Or in the morning before collection. Bins must be brought back onto your property as soon as possible after the collection.

Can I place my recycling in bags?

If you have a recycling bin, then all clean recycling, should be in there loose. For example, not in black bags, carrier bags, liners or clear bags.

If you do not have a bin, we will collect recycling in clear bags. Clear bags are available in all local supermarkets and high street discount stores.

We will not accept recycling in black bags, carrier bags and liners.

Is this ‘stickering’ process a permanent change?

This process will be in place used for as long as required.

There may be instances where residents believe they are doing the right thing. This process may prove to be educational and informative. Helping residents to recycle better in the future.

What if I don’t have a recycling bin?

Many properties across the borough don’t have recycling bins. In he main, these are terrace properties. Instead, they have recycling boxes or place out clear bags for recycling.

All recycling presented kerbside must be free of contamination.

How can I order a bin?

Order a recycling bin online or please call 01443 866533.

What if I’m still unsure?

For more information email recyclingwards@caerphilly.gov.uk or call 01443 866 533.

We also have lots of useful information online that may help.

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