Call for residents to sort, wash and squash


Published 07 September 2015

‘Please help us reduce contamination’ is the call from Council waste chiefs baffled by the latest recycling feedback and keen to sort, wash and squash this latest trend.


Recycling box

Recycling figures for August are showing unusually high levels of contamination in the mixed kerbside recycling collected in the Vale, with food waste and textiles the main culprits. Also featuring in the latest report were unemptied or unrinsed plastic bottles, nappies, and garden waste.

Food containers not being cleaned, or discarded food being wrongly put in the mixed recycling, could be the main causes of food contamination.

Clifford Parish, Operational Manager for Waste Management and Cleansing, said: “Vale residents are excellent recyclers. However, this latest trend does show that we must continue to help everyone with their waste and ensure we don’t undo the good work already done by thousands of households.

“Contamination causes several issues, and ultimately when waste is added to the recycling our processors reject the material and send it to landfill, which is unsustainable.”

A quick sort to see if the right items are going into the different recycling services, followed by a wash – and squash if space is an issue – could solve most contamination issues.

There are eight items currently recycled in the Vale: paper, cans, glass, plastic, cardboard, foil, empty aerosols and tetrapak cartons. Food waste should be recycled separately in the weekly kitchen waste scheme, and textiles can be taken to the two household waste recycling centres in the Vale, or to local textile banks or charity shops.


Can be recycled:
  • Plastics #1-7 (except styrofoam)
  • Rinsed plastic household cleaner
  • Rinsed detergent bottles
  • Rinsed plastic milk bottles
  • Rinsed plastic juice bottles
  • Rinsed plastic soft drink and water bottles
  • Clean retail plastic bags (no other type accepted)
  • Screw top jars
Cannot be recycled:
  • Shrink or bubble wrap
  • Crisp packets or sweet wrappers
  • Black bags or similar black film
  • Plastic tableware
  • Polystyrene packing/styrofoam containers
  • Disposable nappies
  • Children’s plastic toys
  • All other hard plastics (garden furniture, etc.)


For a more comprehensive list of which items can be recycled, and how to recycle them, visit the A to Z of recycling page.