Putting rubbish in wrong bin costs Breckland taxpayers £235,000 in a year

Generic - Binmen picture.
Council recycling feature at West Norfolk council depot, new 240 litres '

In Breckland, more than 2,500 tonnes of recycling waste was rejected at the point of sorting in 2020/21 - Credit: Archant

Rubbish put in the wrong bin cost Breckland taxpayers more than £235,000, new figures have revealed. 

Government data shows more than 2,500 tonnes of recycling waste was rejected at the point of sorting in 2020/21 because it was contaminated, meaning it had to go into general waste instead. 

The total represents a 20pc rise on 2019/20, when 2,110 tonnes of waste was not disposed of appropriately. The district's record is 2,601. 

Rubbish put in the wrong bin is coming at a cost of more than £235,000 to Breckland taxpayers

Rubbish put in the wrong bin is coming at a cost of more than £235,000 to Breckland taxpayers - Credit: Archant

The cost to the taxpayer in Breckland during the most recent 12-month period was £235,383, just above the Norfolk average of £233,164 per council.

Breckland Council claimed, however, that household recycling contamination across the district had gone down. 

Gordon Bambridge, cabinet member for waste and the environment, said: “Government statistics offer a wide snapshot approach to waste collected within Breckland.

"I am really pleased to say that, when you drill down into the data for the waste collected from households in Breckland, residents are doing a fantastic job. 

Councillor Gordon Bambridge

Gordon Bambridge, cabinet member for waste and the environment - Credit: Archant

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"You will find here in Breckland we have actually seen an increase in recycling and a 25pc decrease in household recycling contamination.

"We regularly advise residents of the need to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, which not only helps save taxpayers money, but supports our climate change plans."

The newly-published data comes from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and are estimates covering waste left at the kerbside and at other recycling sources.

Broadland and North Norfolk had similar totals for wrongly recycled waste, with 2,467 and 2,606 tonnes respectively. 

Nigel Lloyd, NNDC's portfolio holder for environmental services, climate change and environment.

Nigel Lloyd, North Norfolk District Council's portfolio holder for environmental services - Credit: Nicholas Manthorpe

Nigel Lloyd, North Norfolk District Council's portfolio holder for environmental services, said its recycling figures were among the best in the county, but there was still room for improvement.

He added: "If you've got a pizza box that's still got half a pizza in it, that will be rejected because the buyer of the [recycled] cardboard cannot deal with cheese and pizza."

In the 12 months to March 2021, King's Lynn and West Norfolk had the greatest amount of contaminated waste at 3,151 tonnes. 

Great Yarmouth had the least with 1,764 tonnes.