Council chiefs say dead dogs and cats are among a string of unusual and unwanted items turning at Wakefield’s household recycling plant.
Knives, walking sticks, false teeth, video tapes, electrical items with cables, old gardening tools and are also being put into some household recycling bins in the district.
Wakefield Council is now calling on people to check which items can be placed in their recycling bin – so they are aware of what needs to go into the bin, taken to a recycling centre, or disposed of elsewhere.
Coun Richard Forster, Wakefield Council’s deputy cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “I urge everyone in the district to think carefully before placing items in their recycling bin and if in doubt to check out the Council website.
“If the wrong items go to the recycling plant it is not only very unpleasant, there can be a real danger to staff if they come into contact with sharp items. Used medical needles, which should be placed in a medi-box at home, are also turning up at the plant, putting staff at risk.
“There is also a financial cost, as items that shouldn’t be there can get caught up in the machinery. This means the whole recycling plant has to close down. This can result in an additional cost to the Council and ultimately to council tax payers – so it’s in everyone’s interest to take a few minutes to understand what is and isn’t suitable for the recycling bin.”
Since the council introduced a new household recycling collection system last year, there has been a 10 per cent increase in recycling across the district.
However, more can be done and the council is highlighting the issue with a new social media campaign - #LetsSortItOut which is spreading the message about what can be put in the recycling bin.
It runs alongside national Recycling Week which starts on September 12.
The aim of the campaign is also to cut contamination, and reduce sending waste to landfill which is expensive and not good for the environment, as well as keeping staff safe.
Wakefield Council is in a partnership with, Shanks Waste Management, which has created one of the most high-tech recycling facilities in Europe at South Kirkby.
The new facility is capable of recycling and reusing around 95% of all household waste, but needs people to help by sorting waste at home and putting items in the right bin.
Coun Forster added: “It’s fantastic that we have increased the recycling rate by 10 per cent, but more can be done. We urge all residents to visit our website to spend five minutes refreshing their memory on what can and can’t go into the brown recycling bin, so that we can push that recycling rate even higher, and reduce landfill.”
For full details about recycling please visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/residents/bins-and-environment/bins