City residents are being urged to be careful about what they put in their recycling bins to help prevent contamination, save money and protect the environment.

City of Wolverhampton Council has seen a significant increase in the number of wrong items being placed in recycling bins and this is costing taxpayers more than £185,000 a year to deal with.

When incorrect items are put in recycling bins, the resulting contamination means waste can’t be recycled and has to be disposed of separately, costing money and losing environmental benefits.

To help residents understand what can and can’t go in their recycling, the council’s waste crews are attaching information stickers to every household recycling bin. These are being placed on bins during regular collections to give people a simple picture guide.

Members of the waste services team will be attending community events to help answer questions about recycling and information posts will also be shared on the council’s social media channels.

Councillor Craig Collingswood, cabinet member for city environment and climate change at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “We are very clear that we have a commitment to climate action and recycling in Wolverhampton and we’re urging our residents to join us on this important issue.

“Bins which contain contaminated items are costing the council taxpayer money to dispose of and we can’t keep collecting them as it is a significant amount. This means, from mid January, we will have to stop collecting contaminated bins to reduce the costs associated with additional disposal. We would urge our residents to support us by checking their recycling and ensuring that only the items displayed on the bin sticker and the website are placed in the bin for recycling.

“Making sure people put the right items into their recycling bin is a simple thing to do but it can have a huge impact, which is why we’re embarking on this campaign.

“We hope residents will follow the picture guide being put on their bins and get into the recycling habit, particularly over the Christmas period when we are likely to see more waste being produced as families enjoy festive food and sharing presents. 

“I would like to thank everyone who puts the right items in their recycling bin and would encourage all our residents to get on board and help us increase our recycling to save money, reduce carbon emission and create a greener city.”

Items for recycling should not be bagged, but make sure they are clean and dry and put in your black bin.

Items that can go into black recycling bins are: aerosols, cardboard, drink cans, foil packaging, food tins (empty and rinse out), glass bottles and jars (empty and rinse out), household plastic bottles, newspapers and magazines, paper, plastic drinks bottles, empty plastic packaging (margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, food trays) and empty food and drink containers (soup, milk, etc.) 

Please place items for recycling loose in your black bin, do not use bags.

Do NOT put any of the following in your recycle bin: plastic bags, cling film, polystyrene, nappies, garden waste, textiles, clothing, bedding, electrical items, glittery cards, wrapping paper, laminated paper, shiny metallic paper, ribbon and bow decorations, shredded paper or any other general waste.

If you’re in any doubt about whether an item can be recycled, please DO NOT place it in your black bin.

Residents can also find a simple guide to what can and can’t be recycled by visiting What goes in my bins?