REDDITCH Council has said it will start refusing to take people's bins if they fail to recycle properly.

The council, which recently formed a climate change committee, is warning residents harsh action will be taken if people keep putting wrong items in their green bins.

Bin crews will be popping leaflets through doors to remind residents about what items can be put in their green bins.

If the wrong things are put in, it can contaminate the whole truck-full of items which then have to be sent off to be burnt, rather than recycled.

Redditch Borough Councillor Brandon Clayton, whose portfolio covers environmental services, said: “Redditch Borough Council is committed to having a positive impact on Climate Change and has set up a committee to deal with such issues.

“Our contamination rate is shockingly high and it is not fair that our residents who are recycling properly are not seeing their efforts end with the results they intended.

“This leaflet reminds people what they can recycle but also that the council can legally refuse to collect a bin that is contaminated until the resident has put it right.

“And, with the threat that in 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish, we are prepared to take such action if the information we are giving to residents, via a lot of different channels, is not taken on board.”

In Redditch, during a spot check of one truck which had collected from green bins, 23 per cent of the contents were found to be contaminated or non-recyclable items including general waste like nappies, animal waste and sanitary waste.

In the same load an additional 3 per cent was material which can be recycled elsewhere (such as household recycling centres) but cannot be accepted in kerbside collections, such as clothing, wood or electrical items.

Although the small amount of energy created from burning general waste is used by the National Grid, it is not as effective or as environmentally friendly as recycling which uses 95 per cent less energy to make new products than using raw materials.

For instance, recycling a bleach bottle can save enough energy to power a street light for six hours or recycling just one drinks can could save enough energy to power a TV for four hours.

Councillor Matt Dormer, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “This new way of working is not designed to punish those conscientious residents who do their best to recycle properly but to stop the inconsiderate people who contaminate collections by putting obvious general waste in their recycling bins.

“We are not in the business of issuing fixed penalty notices for waste – which some other councils do – but instead want to work with residents to unlock a cleaner, greener borough and significantly reduce the impact of contamination.”