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Source: City of Sunderland

Items such as clothing, nappies, food and even a lawnmower were found at Sunderland’s recycling centre after blue bins had been collected.

Meanwhile, a fire recently started at J&B Recycling in Hartlepool while workers there were processing kerbside waste from Sunderland, and upon investigation it was clear that a battery was the cause.

Fortunately, workers were able to put the fire out quickly and safely before any major harm was done, but now people are being reminded that batteries and other waste must be disposed of properly.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Stewart said:  said: “I would like to take these recent events as an opportunity to remind Sunderland residents of the importance of disposing of waste properly.

“At the moment contamination from things mistakenly put in blue bins, like carrier bags or food waste, results in material which could otherwise have been recycled having to be disposed of.

“It is important to remember that ion and portable batteries are not safe for wheeled bins because of the risk of fire. Instead they can be disposed of at your nearest battery bank or supermarket which offers battery recycling.

“In addition to fire hazards which can be caused by putting old batteries in the wrong bins, the resources and chemicals found in them such as lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and mercury can cause harm to the environment.

“We are calling on everyone to do their bit for the city and the planet by making sure they only put the right things in their recycling bins and if in doubt, leave it out.”

The City Council is asking people to only put the following things in their blue recycling bins and is also asking people not to put these materials in plastic bags in their recycling bin as the bags cannot be recycled under the council’s recycling scheme.

In the main part of the recycling bin:

– All white, grey and brown cardboard eg cardboard packaging, cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, ready meal sleeves, toilet roll inner tubes etc – but not greasy pizza boxes
– Empty food tins, drink cans, and aerosols eg pet food cans, baby milk formula tins, pop cans, foil pie trays etc
– Household plastic packaging eg plastic bottles and plastic food packaging such as yogurt pots and the boxes you get ready meals and fruit in
– Glass bottle and jars – eg jam jars, perfume bottles and coffee jars
– Greetings cards without glitter

In the black box:

– Paper including newspapers, junk mail, telephone directories, catalogues, envelopes, printed paper and loose shredded paper.

If your bin can’t be collected due to a contamination, a sticker will be left on your bin to let you know which item has caused the problem.

MIL OSI United Kingdom