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Countdown to top five blue bin mistakes

countdown top 5 blue bin mistakes

Through the Lichfield & Tamworth shared waste service, Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council are counting down the top five blue bin mistakes local households make.

In a bid to help residents from across Lichfield District and Tamworth Borough recycle more and stop contaminating loads of recycling, the shared waste team is counting down the five most common items that are mistakenly added to blue bins.

Coming in at number five is animal bedding and in at number four is nappies. Whether clean or used animal bedding and nappies cannot be recycled and should go in black bins.

The third most common error is textiles, including old clothes, bedding and towels. The shared waste service is unable to recycle textiles and these should either go to a charity shop, if of good quality, or a textile recycling collection point.

The second most common mistake is food waste. All food and drink containers should be emptied and rinsed out. They don’t need to be spotless, but all food and liquid should be removed. 

And, the top blue bin no no is black bin bags. Recycling should be loose in blue bins or go in clear plastic bags. This could mean recycling is collected in a bin liner, which is emptied out into the blue bin.

Putting black bin bags, food waste, textiles, nappies and animal bedding into your blue bin will contaminate the recycling and could mean that your blue bin is not emptied.

Councillor David Leytham, Cabinet Member for Operational Services, Leisure & Waste at Lichfield District Council, said:

“We know the majority of our residents are committed to recycling and do a really good job. However, there are some households that continue to put non-recyclable items in their blue bins, which can contaminate whole truck-loads of recycling.

“It is in all of our interests to recycle as much as we can because it costs more to send waste to be incinerated or to landfill, and there is of course the cost to the environment.

“We hope this countdown of our top five most common blue bin mistakes will encourage local people to think about what and how they recycle and to change their ways if they have fallen into bad habits.”

To find out what should go in each bin, visit To download the Waste Less guide which sets out how to recycle, visit

Posted on Thursday 21st February 2019

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