Since the three week black bin collections were introduced, people now have to recycle more and more if they don't want the thing overflowing. However, some Salford residents have been shoving dirty nappies, plastic bags, old food, tablet blister packs, polystyrene packing and even electrical items into blue paper and card bins, leading to hundreds of tonnes of recycling material being rejected as contaminated.
"In January, tough new quality standards in the paper and card recycling market were introduced, and these mean that we have to collect as much clean paper and card as possible" says Councillor Alex Ganotis, Greater Manchester's Green City lead "Unfortunately, we are finding too many wrong items and lorry loads of recycling are getting rejected time and time again.
"People often think that it doesn't matter if wrong items get mixed up with their recycling and that they will all get removed later" he adds "This isn't the case – it's almost impossible to remove most of the contaminants. We also get a surprising number of nappies and baby wipes in the paper and card recycling and these are serious contaminants that should go in the general waste bin and never in the recycling bin."
Now Salford City Council has teamed up with Recycle for Greater Manchester (part of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Waste & Resource Team) to launch a What's In The Box? campaign to remind people what can and can't go in the blue bin – which are only newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, paper wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and junk mail and envelopes.
Leaflets are going to be delivered to 86,000 Salford homes (which should help fill the blue bins!), while a recycling superhero will help to get the message across to kiddies.
For loads more information and to download a bin reminder app see the website www.recycleforgreatermanchester.com
Photo shows mascot with campaign team's Phillippa and Polly