Council urges residents to be responsible with their waste

image of three bins with rainbow

With household recycling centres temporarily closed, Lichfield District Council is warning its residents not to put contaminated waste in their blue bins, overload their black bins, fly-tip, or be tempted to burn waste.

Through its shared waste service with Tamworth Borough Council, Lichfield District Council is once again calling on its residents to follow its guidelines for what can and cannot go in bins.

In the last week, six loads of recycling have been rejected from the recycling plant due to contaminated waste being put in blue bins.

From used tissues and food waste, to clothes and electrical items, lots of waste that cannot be recycled is ending up in blue bins.

The council is also reminding its residents not to overload the service by putting extra side waste out with their black bins. Only waste in black bins, with the lids closed that are not overloaded, can be emptied.

However, as has always been the case, extra blue bin waste, such as cardboard or extra recycling that is in clear, tied bags can be placed next to blue bins when they are due to be collected.

Councillor Liz Little, Cabinet Member for Recycling & Leisure, said:

“It is really disappointing to see so many households putting contaminated waste in their blue bins. At this time of crisis, we must all work together for the good of the community and we need your help and support. Please familiarise yourself with what can and can’t go in your bins. You’ll find a brief guide on the back of your bin calendars or you can go to our website for more detailed advice.”

For information about what can and cannot go in your bins, go to

The council has also noticed an increase in fly-tipping incidents especially in rural areas, and is warning its residents that they could face a fine if they try to dispose of any waste by dumping it across the district.

There is also concern that local people may take getting rid of their extra household waste into their own hands and be tempted to burn it. 

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is an offence to dispose of domestic waste in a way that is likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. This means no one should burn waste or recycling as it is likely to create excessive smoke or noxious fumes.

Occasionally dry garden waste, such as woody or diseased items that cannot be composted, can be disposed of through bonfires. However, careful consideration must be given to fire safety, the impact on neighbours and air pollution.

Councillor Angela Lax, Cabinet Member for Legal & Regulatory Services, said:

“These are challenging times and we know the closure of the tips will be having an impact on local households. We’re asking our residents to help us by storing their extra waste for now and home composting as much as possible.

“We haven’t had an increase in reports of nuisance bonfires as yet, but as the weather warms up, this could become an issue. This is why we are reminding our residents to have consideration for their neighbours and the environment and not to resort to burning their waste.”

Finally, to help keep its bin crews safe, the council is reiterating its message to homes that are self-isolating due to having COVID-19 symptoms. This includes double bagging any tissues and wipes and setting aside for 72 hours before putting in black bins. Households are also being asked to wash their bin handles before and after collection as an extra precaution.

Find out how council services are being affected by coronavirus, and access business and community support and public health information, at


Published: 2 April 2020