Stricter approach to improve Thanet's recycling

Thanet District Council is now taking a zero-tolerance approach to contaminated household recycling.

This is in a bid to improve contamination rates, which have reached such a high that entire lorry loads cannot be recycled.

Contaminated recycling essentially means items that are placed into the wrong container.

Contamination rates of up to 10% can ordinarily be handled, but have recently risen to more than 25%.

What this stricter approach means for residents:

If wrong items are placed into your household recycling containers, the crews will not take your recycling.

A message will be left either on your bin, or will be posted through your door to explain why the waste has been left and to advise which items should be stored in each of your containers.

Full information is available online and can also be found in the leaflets distributed to each household at the launch of the new scheme.

The following items can be placed into your blue bins:

  • Glass bottles & Jars
  • Aluminium & Metal tins & Cans
  • Clean Aluminium foil and foil containers
  • Aerosols
  • Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • Tetrapak ( Juice cartons)

All containers should be empty of food and it’s recommended to rinse them to help keep your bin clean.

All materials in the blue lidded bin should be loose – carrier bags are one of the biggest contaminates. If you store items for your blue-lidded bin inside your house within a plastic carrier bag, please tip the items out into the blue bin, and then dispose of the empty plastic carrier in the black, general waste bin.

Paper and card must be placed in your red bag – paper and card placed in your blue lidded bin will mean your waste is contaminated and will not be collected.

Cabinet Member for Operational Services, Cllr Mike Harrison, said: “Firstly I’d like to thank our residents who have helped us to achieve such high levels of recycling within the first few months of the new scheme.  An increase to more than 40% is fantastic.

“Thankfully the majority of residents do contain their recycling appropriately and that’s exactly why we need to act swiftly. The levels of incorrectly stored recycling have risen to such a level that some of our containers are being turned away. This clearly cannot continue.

“Since the start of the scheme the council has allowed some time for residents to adjust to the changes to their collections and has taken a more relaxed approach, but we now need to stick more rigidly to our rules. This essentially means that if items are not put in the right container, the recycling will not be collected.

“This is not an attempt to inconvenience our residents, but is a necessary measure to ensure that the efforts of those who do recycle correctly are not wasted. I hope that residents will understand that by taking what may seem to be a tougher approach, we will ultimately see much wider benefits for Thanet. ”

Press Office