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Blue bin contamination costing ratepayers thousands of pounds

19 October 2017

Derry City and Strabane District Council have issued a stark warning today over blue bin contamination, in order to help stop the problem from growing.

The Council have said that nappies, plastic bags, food waste and general rubbish are costing local ratepayers thousands of pounds a year because householders are putting them in the wrong bin.

Council have also said that the increasing waste disposal costs as a result of blue bin contamination is having a knock-on effect on its ability to keep rates levels down and protect and enhance other vital services.

Derry City and Strabane District Council Waste Services Officer Nicola McCool said:

“Blue bin contamination has become a serious problem.

“When our blue bin contents are tipped out at the recycling facility, you can see how nappies, plastic bags, food waste and general rubbish are contaminating the entire contents – which has the knock-on effect of creating extra costs for general waste disposal.

“I would therefore urge householders to be aware of what they put in their blue ‘dry recycling’ bins – as contamination is significantly increasing the costs to Council.

“Recycling more and recycling right is one of the easiest ways we can save ratepayers money – but we also need every household to play their part.

“Items that can be put in the blue ‘dry recycling’ bins are glass, paper, food and drink cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and food and drink cartons.

“However, items that cannot be recycled – but are often put in the blue bins – include nappies, black bin bags and general food waste, which contaminate the recyclable materials that it comes into contact with.

“Recycling is a win-win situation for all – and we really appreciate that the majority of householders are committed to getting it right. I would also like to stress that most residents have been excellent recyclers.

“Indeed, some areas are doing particularly well – with the most recent reported figures for January to March 2017 having a recycling rate of 39.3%.  However, other areas are not performing as well.

“It is important to recognise that more can be done to reduce waste disposal costs. We want to remind people that with their co-operation and by making a few simple changes to how they dispose of their waste, Council can significantly reduce the amount of it going to landfill.

“This in turn helps to keep our rates down.  Any savings can also be invested in the provision of key services throughout the city and district.

“We hope that householders understand that it benefits us all to recycle the right waste in the right bin.

“If people are unsure about what goes into the blue bins they can visit our website or contact Council if they need further help.”

Advice for householders who are unsure about what goes in the blue bin can find out more details by visiting www.derrystrabane.com/service/wasterecycling/bluebin or by contacting the Council on (028) 71 253 253 Ext 6635.