More than 1,300 households have had their recycling bins confiscated in just five weeks because they contained the wrong sort of rubbish.
The clampdown by Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire, is aimed at saving money by showing people how to properly recycle.
Since April, “advisers” have checked green bins during collections and placed stickers on those containing incorrect items.
After two warnings, bins are removed for up to six months.
Phillipa Hather, one of a team of waste and recycling inspectors, showed the BBC what was inside some of the confiscated bins.
They included the contents of a vacuum bag, paint cans, toothbrushes, non-recyclable plastics including bin-liners and bags, food waste, metals and used nappies.
Kirklees Council said 1,341 bins had been confiscated.
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Ms Hather, said: “People are really upset and they take umbrage really because they do want to recycle.
“It’s not always their fault, a passer-by might have put something in but ultimately it is the responsibility of the householder to check the bin.”
Kirklees green bin dos and don’ts
- Newspapers and magazines
- Junk mail and envelopes
- Telephone directories
- Books (remove hardback covers first)
- Plastic bottles with caps removed
- Drinks cans, food tins and empty aerosols
- Yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic trays and polystyrene
- Plastic carriers and film
- Drink cartons
- Clothing and textiles
- Food, garden and wood waste
- Shredded paper
The policy has not been without its critics, reported the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Alison Chambers, said on social media: “Kirklees’ new recycling initiative: take your green bin away so you can’t recycle so it all goes in grey bin. Well done Kirklees for being dumbest council again.”
Mary Majella said: “I am very careful about what I put in my green bin but I live on a main road and can’t stop passers-by using my bins for their rubbish as it is near a number of takeaways.”
Karl Battersby, of Kirklees Council, said: “I can understand why people might be annoyed and frustrated but really it’s not our intention to put people off recycling, quite the opposite.”
The scheme has cost Kirklees Council £80,000, but the authority said it could eventually save £440,000 by boosting recycling rates.
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