Recycling: Cambridgeshire council finds grenades and loo seats in wrong bins


Old Toilet seat

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Broken toilet seats have been found at the waste recycling centre at Waterbeach near Cambridge

Grenades and broken toilet seats put in household dustbins have resulted in whole loads of recyclable waste being rejected.

They were examples of items South Cambridgeshire District Council recently found in the wrong bins.

Others include disco lights, a bowling ball and “lots of cuddly toys”.

The council said people should regard recyclables as “assets”, because when correctly binned, they could bring in revenue for the authority.

Gas cylinders and car brake discs have also been found at the recycling waste management site at Waterbeach.

A council spokesman said when incorrect items are spotted in household bins at the time of collection, they are left, and the owner is informed why.

Many items are only spotted when lorries are unloaded and the items sent for checking and sorting – and can then also be removed.

However, as refuse lorries are occasionally audited before being emptied, on occasion the entire load is rejected and sent to landfill if there are deemed to be too many unrecyclable items inside.

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Old boots and disco lights are also not supposed to be sent for recycling

The local authority is urging people to check what should go in which bin as part of national Recycle Week.

“We should think of the material as an asset, not rubbish, because the waste is sorted and sent to re-processors to be made into new products,” said councillor Bill Handley, cabinet member for environmental services.

“The council is paid for every tonne of suitable material and the money is reinvested into council services.”

The council was not able to say what kind of grenade was found among the household waste earlier this year, but confirmed it was made safe by emergency services.

They issued a similar warning about dangerous items in 2017 after a marine flare went off in front of a recycling worker at the Waterbeach plant.

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