Plastic carrier bags, worth pennies, could end up costing Liverpool council taxpayers thousands of pounds.
A significant number of householders have been putting materials for recycling in their blue bins inside plastic bags but Liverpool City Council is urging residents not to do this.
The technology at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), where they are sent, cannot separate the materials inside a plastic bag so they finish up in landfill.
Plastic bags can also get caught up in the machinery causing processing to cease while the bags are untangled.
“The cost of using landfill is increasing and for every tonne we send there it costs the taxpayers more than £100, ” said Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for living environment and localism. “Unfortunately, we are having to send a lot of material intended for recycling to landfill and there is a considerable cost to that.
“Many people may have good intentions – they want to recycle but if they put their recyclables in plastic bags in their blue bins the material will end up being buried in the ground.
“Our message is only put recyclable material loose in your blue bin and use your purple bin for other waste such as food, that does require bagging.”
What CAN be put in blue bins:
• Glass bottles and jars with lids removed
• Cans (do not crush)
• Paper, magazines, newspapers, junk mail, catalogues phone directories, books, wrapping paper (remove sellotape)
• Envelopes with windows removed
• Flattened cardboard boxes and egg boxes
• Cereal and food boxes
• Toilet or kitchen roll inner cardboard
• Plastic bottles -keep lids on do not flatten
And remember : Place all items loose in your blue bin – do not put inside bags
What CANNOT be put in blue bins
• Black bag waste
• Plastic bags, cling film or plastic food trays
• Shredded paper or polystyrene
• Juice cartons (Tetrapak)
• Food or liquids
• Yoghurt pots or plastic tubs
• Textiles – you can use your local recycling bank/centre
• Paint tins
• Electrical items